Tennis Set For ‘Significant Reduction’ In Prize Money, Warns Madrid Open Director Lopez - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Tennis Set For ‘Significant Reduction’ In Prize Money, Warns Madrid Open Director Lopez

The world former top 10 player has urged his rivals to return to action as soon as possible in order for the ATP to ‘survive.’

Published

on

Feliciano Lopez (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez expects there to be a substantial decline in prize money on the ATP Tour in the coming months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world No.56, who is also the tournament director of the Madrid Open, spoke out about the current status of the sport ahead of an expected announcement concerning when the Tour will resume again later this week. All professional tournaments have been suspended since March due to the worldwide pandemic with the USTA set to make their final decision on hosting the US Open on Monday.

Wherever the Tour does resume, Lopez warns that it will take a while for the sport to return back to normal. Saying the financial impact on the ongoing crises will likely result in a cut to prize money. No tournament has yet confirmed if they will be cutting their prize money pool and by how much in the future. However, some reports have suggested that if the US Open does take place in 2020 it will offer 95% of what they provided the previous season despite a 60% loss in revenue.

“We have to understand that tennis is not going to be the same, at least for one, two, three years. I don’t know how long,” Lopez reporters over the weekend.
“But we need to survive this moment and we need to be united.
“The players need to understand that it’s going to be a significant reduction in the prize money. I see now the scenario where tournaments will survive with a significant reduction in prize money – not only for this year, but also for (the) 2021 season.”

Addressing the current uncertainty about what the future may look like, Lopez says it is ‘urgent’ his fellow players to return back to action sooner rather than later. Claiming that any further delay could have a direct impact on the future survival of the ATP. The governing body of men’s tennis which was founded back in 1972.

“I’m talking as a player now – but I’m also a tournament director and I am able to see the reality, to see how tough it is to survive in this crisis. It is hitting everyone. It’s tough to break even. This is what the players need to understand. It is really urgent that everybody plays. But, if we don’t have tournaments, it’s possible the ATP is not going to survive either. We need to stay together. It is the only way to survive.” He said.

It is for this reason why the 38-year-old believes the majority of players will play at the US Open despite there being various concerns expressed about it’s measures. The likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Ash Barty have all expressed their doubts. Should the event get the green light, players will be subjected to various COVID-19 testing, only allowed to bring one member of their team on site and have to stay in a hotel located near the airport.

“I personally would go and play the US Open: I think the majority of players would also do the same,” Lopez said.
“I think the US Open know there might be many players that don’t want to go and play there.
“But I think the US Open is not depending on only the top players playing. My personal opinion is that they are planning to have the event thinking that some of the top players – I don’t know how many – might not play.”

As for the Madrid Open, the Spaniard is hopeful that it will still get underway in September ahead of the French Open. Despite acknowledging a reduction of funds at the event, he says they could still break even with 40% of the crowd capacity.

Lopez has won seven titles on the ATP Tour so far in his career and has played in 72 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

Note: quotes via BBC Sport and The Guardian

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

Published

on

Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

Published

on

The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

Continue Reading

Trending