What Does Special Exempt (SE) Mean In Tennis?

There are many tennis tournaments every week.  If a player is competing in the later rounds of a tournament, that player may not be able to make it to the qualifying round matches for the next tournament. It is unfair to punish this player for doing well at a tournament. So tournaments allow these players to get in the main draw by  Special Exempt.

Special Exempt means that the player is exempt from playing the qualifying rounds.

Special Exempt Definition

If a player signs up for a qualifying draw for one tournament but is still competing in the late rounds of the previous tournament, that player can be awarded a spot in the main draw by Special Exempt (SE).

If a player got in the main draw of the tournament as a Special Exempt, you will see the acronym (SE) before his name in the main draw.

How do players sign up for Special Exempt spots?

A player who wishes to apply for Special Exempt status must notify the tournament referee or supervisor verbally or in writing before the qualifying draw is made.

If there are not enough Special Exempt places in the main draw for all players requesting SE, then the players will be selected for SE based on their rankings.

Source: ATP Rule Book

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