Western and Southern Open reduces its prize money

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Western and Southern Open reduces its prize money

The Western and Southern Open men's tournament prize money suffered a drop of over 30%: it will pass from $ 6 million last year to 4.2 million for this edition. This season the ATP/WTA combined event will take place exceptionally at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, and it will obviously be withouth crowd; there will be almost all the top players, but for someone the presence is still in doubt.

The reduction of the prize money will not be homogeneous but will vary according to the round that will be achieved, with an increase in earnings for the first few rounds compared to 2019. This reduction in prize money currently involves only the men's tournament, but a reduction seems inevitable also for the women's tournament that in the meantime has issued the list of participants, with several illustrious absentees.

It is clear that the long suspension of competitive activities has had a greater impact on the low-ranking tennis players, certainly not on those who continuously arrive at the bottom of the tournaments, and therefore the organizers have thought of compensating by cutting the prizes of those who arrive at the bottom, in order to save some resources for those who dispute only the qualifications or stop in the first rounds.

For example, for those who reach the second qualifying round or the second round of the main draw, there will be about $ 4,000 more than in 2019, while the winner will settle for $ 285,000, a quarter of the $ 1,114,225 pocketed by Medvedev 12 months ago.

The fate of the US Open

The fate of the US Open 2020 hangs in the balance, threatened by external forces that risk wiping out this season's edition. There are many reasons to question its programming. Officially the dates are from 31 August to 13 September 2020.

The tournament should be preceded by the Western and Southern Open, ATP Masters 1000 of Cincinnati which this year will be played exceptionally at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The global pandemic is raging in the United States, bringing many states and counties to their knees.

In New York, the situation was tragic for a few weeks, while now it seems to have stabilized. However, the risks are still very high: the USA is the first country in the world for both infections and deaths due to Covid-19.

A clue comes from the cancellation of the Citi Open in Washington, an event scheduled in mid-August, which would have given a substantial response on the health of tennis after the resumption following the interruption. The emergency instead convinced the organizers to cancel the event in the US capital, sending a bad signal also for the tournaments that would follow the Citi Open.