The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced WTA ranking points awarded at ITF World Tennis Tour events will increase for the remainder of 2021.
The WTA and ITF said the adjustment will help to addresses the current disruption to the WTT calendar due to COVID-19, as well as the reduction in playing opportunities.
Tournaments held from April 5 will be included.
The WTA ranking points will be increased through W25 to W80 level, while the points at the higher category W80+ and W15 events will remain the same.
Ranking points at ITF World Tennis Tour women’s events are set to revert to the original levels from January 2022 onwards.
The WTA and ITF said the adjustments are aimed at supporting lower ranked players by providing opportunities to progress in the rankings.
"The ITF recognises that points earned at ITF World Tennis Tour women’s events provide a vital pathway for players to reach the highest levels of professional tennis," said director of ITF circuits Jackie Nesbitt.
"The WTA and their Players’ Council have listened to and are sympathetic to the issues facing lower ranked players at this time while COVID-19 continues to cause disruption to the WTT calendar.
"The solution offered enables players to earn additional ranking points and promotes progression in the rankings.
"We are grateful for the WTA’s consideration and collaboration in offering additional ranking points at this level."
The move follows adjustments made to the WTA rankings system amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 season.
The changes allow players to carry 50 per cent of their 2019 ranking points earned at ITF World Tennis Tour events from March to December in 2019 for an additional 52 weeks until 2022.
Points earned at ITF World Tennis Tour events in 2020 will remain on the system for 104 weeks.
The changes had prompted concerns that lower ranked players could face further challenges in climbing the rankings, with top ranked players able to maintain their points for a longer period.