ATP introduces new financial stability program ‘Baseline’ to provide income stability to players

'Baseline' is set to launch in 2024 as part of a three-year trial.

ATP introduces new financial stability program ‘Baseline’ to provide income stability to players

ATP's 'BASELINE' program (Image Credits: ATP TOUR)

ATP has introduced a game-changing initiative that provides financial assurances for players starting from 2024. The program, named ‘BASELINE’, comprises of three key pillars:- guaranteed base earnings, Injury protection, and Newcomer investment. This initiative represents a significant step towards ensuring a greater number of players can make a sustainable living from the sport according to ATP. The program is initially for a 3-year trial period.

Tennis players and fans alike demanded this type of investment, especially for the fringe players. The first pillar guarantees a minimum income for players if they cross a certain threshold of ranking. The ‘Guaranteed Base Earnings’ ensures minimum income levels for the Top 250-ranked singles players each season.

According to this, if a player’s prize money earnings finish below the guaranteed threshold, the ATP will step in to cover the shortfall. The income breakdown is as follows: $300,000 (Top 100), $150,000 (101-175), and $75,000 (176-250). This includes the expenses of the coaching team and travel.

The ‘Injury Protection’ initiative will provide support to players who play fewer than ‘nine’ ATP Tour and Challenger Tour events in a season due to injury. This pillar is also designed to provide financial security for players during their recovery periods. The income breakdown for this pillar is as follows: $200,000 (Top 100), $100,000 (101-175), and $50,000 (176-250).

The third pillar intends to facilitate the upcoming players for their professional careers. The ‘Newcomer Investment’ will provide $200,000 of funding upon breaking into the Top 125 for the first time to the rising players. The amount will be paid in advance of the following season and offset against prize money earnings. This initiative will help a lot of players on the challenger tour. Currently, the players usually get $20,000 for winning challengers.

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Grigor Dimitrov hails the ‘Baseline’ initiative as a game-changer

grigor dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov (Getty Images)

Hailing the ‘Baseline’ initiative as a game-changer, Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov remarked, “Knowing that we have a safety net through the minimum guarantee and injury protection pillars gives us peace of mind, allowing us to focus on our game and strive for success. This truly shows the ATP’s commitment to the players and the future of our sport.” (H/T: ATP Tour)

Sharing his excitement about the initiative, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi remarked, “This initiative is a complete shift in the way tennis approaches player finances. It represents our commitment to the players and their careers – fostering an environment where they can thrive and elevate the sport. It is also just the start of what we hope to achieve. Our ambition is to expand this game-changing initiative in the years to come.”

The initiative is expected to help between 30 and 45 players. Some tennis fans expressed their reservations with regards to the number of players covered by the program. The fans advocated more support for players ranked 250-500.

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