The WTA budget is hurting badly with the COVID-19 crisis wiping out the lucrative autumn Asian tournament run which acts as an annual lifesaver for the bottom line.
But with China moving early in the summer to cancel all remaining 2020 sporting events in the motherland of the virus, the WTA just had to take its lumps.
France’s L’Equipe put the monetary matter into perspective and spelled out the fiscal dangers for the women’s sanctioning body as the abbreviated season wrapped up on Sunday with the Linz tournament final.
Gone from this year’s calendar were some of the major money-spinners for the WTA, starting with the season finals in Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong.
That November tournament, with just one edition played a year ago, was part of a 10-year contract which the paper said formed the bedrock of the WTA budget.
Payout for the winner of the EUR 18 million eight-woman event was massive. with 2019 champion Ash Barty pocketing EUR 4.5 million.
Cancellation of the year-ender reportedly cost the WTA half of its total annual revenues. 2019 Asian dates were said to have been worth USD 13.9 million to the Florida-based sanctioning body.
Among Asian events hit by the COVID cancellations: Taipei, Seoul, Tianjin, Beijing, Wuhan, Nanchang, Zhengzou, Tokyo and Guangzhou.
L’Equipe noted: “The piggy bank remains empty.”
Since the initial spring date of Roland Garros – actually held in September-October this year – 17 WTA tournaments (13 of them in Asia) were wiped out.
Over the past five weeks, only Ostrava and Linz were the only tournaments on the sharply reduced calendar.
Main photo:- the loss of the lucrative year end events in Asia is a massive blow to WTA