The ATP is reportedly set to announce a new financial plan to help alleviate the financial pressures on lower-ranked tennis players.
This plan will involve paying all players ranked 300 and below a basic minimum income wage based on their projected earnings for the season. This means that players of this ranking can now expect a minimum wage to cover basic costs such as equipment, day-to-day items such as food, as well as some travel expenditures, as reported by Daily Mail.
This will be received as a hugely welcome development for many players who are still competing on the lower ITF circuits, either trying to break through as a young professional, or still attempting to make a living through playing tennis.
Currently, the financial strains of making it as a professional tennis player are huge. There is no financial help currently in place across either tour, and lower-ranked players face rapidly mounting expenditures if they wish to compete on even the ITF circuit.
Players must pay for their own coaches, equipment, travel and accommodation costs. This then puts immense pressure on the player to perform well at the tournaments they do travel to, often meaning even a decent run in an ITF Challenger event can leave the player at a net financial loss for that week.
While some financial aid is in place between individual nations' tennis governing bodies and their players - such as grants and financial aid with coaching - this rarely goes far enough to make a player's ends meet. It also varies greatly on how much money a particular governing body has at their disposal.
The emergence of a plan by the ATP itself will make a huge difference to players currently playing to break even. It will also help entice more young players to the sport who previously could not afford it, or who are put off by the difficult financial grind of the Challenger circuit.
In a rare example of purely positive news, this is one that men's tennis can celebrate.