The former world number 53 has given his take on plans for a COVID-19 fund that benefits lower-ranked players – suggesting that the distribution of prize money should be changed so they can profit more at bigger tournaments in future.
ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic proposed that players ranked inside the top-100 each donate a sum between $5,000 and $30,000 on a sliding scale.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion also called on top-20 doubles players to join the initiative as the world no. 1 believes more than $4m could be generated to support players ranked from 250-700.
Australian Davis Cup team captain Lleyton Hewitt opposed the idea, saying that players like world no. 83 James Duckworth are “running at a loss” and expecting them to donate thousands of dollars is too much.
His compatriot Duckworth, who won his first ATP Tour event in India a month before the sport’s suspension, has fluctuated in the rankings throughout his career.
The 28-year-old got to the Australian Open doubles quarter-finals this year but has never progressed past round two in a Grand Slam singles event and holds a 33.8% win record.
On Wide World of Sports’ Down The Line, Groth said:“It’s hard isn’t it because you’ve worked hard to be one of those top guys and they make a lot more. I also think the prize money isn’t distributed evenly enough. You look at a guy like Novak winning the Australian Open, you’re talking $4-5m for winning a Grand Slam final.
If you were to go and take $500,000 off the men’s and women’s purse from that winners’ purse and distribute it, there’s all of a sudden $8m-a-year, or $4m-a-year, depending on how much you take and where you take it from.”
The season has been suspended until July 13 at the earliest due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and as Stan Wawrinka suggested recently, there’s a serious possibility there will be no more tennis for the rest of 2020.
Halep’s coach reveals 99% of coaches not getting paid
Elsewhere in tennis news, Australian tennis coach Darren Cahill said that most of the tennis coaches are not getting paid right now, as a result of the ongoing crisis.
He currently coaches world no. 2 Simona Halep and had this to say: “99% of coaches at the moment are not getting paid. It’s just like the players as well: unless you’re one of the top players and have contract money, they’re not getting paid either. It’s going to be important to get together, put some things in place that are going to help in the future.
“It could be standardising contracts, could be a termination clause. There has to be some security that gives coaches on both tours the ability to be a little bit protected – even buying into the players’ insurance as well, which would help a lot of us when we travel.”