"I'm worried about players who aren't in the Top 100," says Alize Cornet.
Alizé Cornet has concerns over the WTA's immediate future after the Coronavirus pandemic erased the Tour's lucrative Asian fall swing.
In an interview with French publication L'Equipe, the 30-year-old Frenchwoman says the WTA is in "survival mode" following the cancellation of the fall Asian swing, including the WTA Finals, the Tour's crown jewel.
"It is very bad, especially because we have a lot, a lot of money in Asia," Cornet said. "As I understand it, the [WTA Finals] (in Shenzhen) still accounts for 50 percent of the WTA's finances. It's colossal.
"Since the Masters is not taking place,and Asia has closed its doors until March, we are in survival mode. Small women's tournaments are not very profitable and since everyone is in the hard, it's super complicated to keep these tournaments alive. It hurts your heart when you see the programming of boys and girls. When we talk about gender equality, it makes me laugh."
Cornet calls the sport's six-month shutdown due to COVID-19 "a big blow" and predicts it will take years for a full economic recovery.
The former world No. 11 says the Grand Slams are the economic engine that will fuel players financially, but says players ranked outside the Top 100 will be hurt most by tournament cancellations.
"Our greatest chance is to be able to play Grand Slams because that's where it moves the least and it funds our season," Cornet said. "But for that, you have to be in the [Top] 100. I'm worried about players who aren't in the 100 and who are dependent on any tournament.
"You really have to have empathy for all these people who are struggling even more than we are. An entire economy is wobbling wickedly. It's a shame because the WTA had done a really good job in recent years. It's a big blow. It's going to take years."
Photo credit: Christopher Levy
Source: Tennis – Tennis Now