From the ATP Rule Book:
Special Exempts (SE)
1. A player is eligible to receive a Special Exempt into the singles main draw of the following week?s Tournament, if he is unable to compete in that qualifying competition because he is still competing on the date the qualifying competition begins in another Qualified Event, and his current or Entry Protection position as of the date of the entry deadline would not have otherwise qualified him as a Direct Acceptance on the original Acceptance List if he had entered. In addition, a player
who is still playing a match at 9 p.m. on Friday (the Qualifying competition
sign-in deadline) is eligible to receive a Special Exempt only if he wins that
a. A qualified Event for special exempt to a Tennis Masters Series Tournament is the singles event of another Tennis Masters Series or International Series Gold Tournament.
b. A Qualified Event for Special Exempt to an ATP International Series Gold
Tournament is the singles event of another International Series Gold or
Tennis Masters Series Tournament.
c. A Qualified Event for Special Exempt to an ATP International Series
Tournament is the singles event of any International Series or Tennis
Masters Series Tournament.
d. A Qualified Event for Special Exempt to a Challenger Series Tournament
is the singles event of an ATP or Challenger Series Tournament within
the same geographic region, unless there are no Challengers in the
same region the following week.
2. Number of Special Exempts. Tennis Masters Series and International Series Gold Tournaments shall have one (1) Special Exempt and International Series and Challenger Series Tournaments shall have two (2)
3. Selection of Special Exempt.
a. If there are not sufficient Special Exempt places in the draw for applicants, the players shall be selected according to their position on the
most recent ATP Singles Entry System List issued prior to the Tournament
or by their Entry Protection position.
b. If the Special Exempt places are not needed before the beginning of the
qualifying competition, the Special Exempt places shall be filled by additional Direct Acceptances selected from the original Acceptance List.
Thus a player may be pulled out of the qualifying before the first ball is
hit and replaced by an alternate list player.
4. Special Exempt Process.
a. A list of possible eligible players is compiled by the Player Services Department by Wednesday/Thursday of the current week for the next
b. The list of eligible players is supplied to the Supervisors where the players are competing. The Supervisors need to contact each player to inquire if the player is interested in the Special Exempt position and then
contact Player Services immediately following the player?s decision to
remove himself from consideration for any tournament for which he is
c. If the player is interested in an event, Player Services coordinates with
the Supervisors at both events until the SE positions are filled.
d. If the main draw is to be made before a potential Special Exempt player
plays on Friday, then such place(s) shall be drawn in the same manner
as qualifier, i.e., four qualifiers (?Q?) and one or two ?SE? depending on
whether there are one or two possibilities. Each of the five or six slots are
marked ?Q/SE.? As soon as the ?SE? match results are known, either the
?SE? or the next Direct Acceptance (if the SE lost) is randomly drawn and
inserted into the draw.
e. If a player does not finish his Friday match by the nine (9) p.m. deadline
at the qualifying site and subsequently loses his match, then he is not
eligible to be signed in for qualifying or for a Special Exempt; however,
he may receive a Wild Card from the Tournament if it is known before
the qualifying draw that he has lost and that no special scheduling shall
f. A player who does not appear after accepting a Special Exempt shall be
treated as an entered player and shall receive appropriate penalties.