Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez believes tennis is fighting for survival amid the Covid-19 pandemic and a significant reduction in prize money will be the new reality when the ATP and WTA tours resume.

“We have to understand that tennis is not going to be the same, at least for one, two, three years. I don’t know how long,” Lopez said.

Lopez, who also doubles as tournament director of the Madrid Open, said prize money could be reduced as sponsors struggle to rebuild after the virus.

Feliciano Lopez in action at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“The companies and the sponsors, they might have to fire employees,” Lopez told the BBC.

“This is happening everywhere in the world so the first thing they cut is sponsorship, and this is going to be affecting tennis massively.

“We need to survive this moment and we need to be united. “The players need to understand that it’s going to be a significant reduction in the prize money.

“I see now the scenario where tournaments will survive with a significant reduction in prize money — not only for this year, but also for (the) 2021 season.”

Lopez said he believes the US Open will go ahead despite some reservations.

“I think the US Open know there might be many players that don’t want to go and play there,” he said.

“But I think the US Open is not depending on only the top players playing. My personal opinion is that they are planning to have the event thinking that some of the top players — I don’t know how many — might not play.”


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