Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Novak Djokovic wants increase in prize money in tourneys

There was joy and relief for Novak Djokovic after he came through his opening test with flying colours There was joy and relief for Novak Djokovic after he came through his opening test with flying colours
Shannon Reynolds | 16 January, 2018, 04:04

Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal were among the players in attendance. According to Daily Mail, Djokovic came up with this unexpected announcement in the annual player meeting conducted by the ATP and the Australian Open, ahead of the start of the year's first Major, on Friday.

The report in the Daily Mail claims that at a compulsory players meeting held by the ATP where all the big players and the officials of the tennis organization where present, Djokovic gave a fierce speech demanding a hike in the prize money.

Neither Kermode, the ATP nor Tennis Australia were prepared to comment yesterday until they had confirmation of the demands from Djokovic himself.

Tilley also mentioned there was a plan for the Australian Open total prize money pool to increase over the next six years to a staggering $100 million.

At the moment, the ATP board is split 50-50 between representatives of the tournaments and of the players.

Despite living in the tax haven of Monte Carlo and amassing more than $100 million (£72 million) in prize money during his glittering career, Djokovic still believes that tennis players are still not earning enough when compared to individuals in other sports. Djokovic himself said at Indian Wells in 2016 that men now deserve higher prize money because "the stats are showing we have much more spectators".

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The 30-year-old is said to have taken to the stage and requested for non-players to leave the room so their discussion could take place in private.

Many people will remember when tennis great Billy Jean King revolutionised the game by campaigning for equal prize money for female players and becoming the first president of the Women's Tennis Association. 'There may have been a few who knew about this, but most didn't'.

Any move for the players to flex their muscles will sound alarm bells in the sport's corridors of power, especially at a time when crowds and prize money are already at record levels.

The four Grand Slams - the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - are official championships of the International Tennis Federation and are not run by the ATP.

The governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits, which has existed in its current player-tournament partnership since 1990, represents the combined but sometimes conflicting interests of the players and the tournaments.

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