Novak Djokovic recently questioned the financial capabilities of tennis authorities in aiding lower-ranked players on tour. Amidst the Serb’s concerns, tennis journalist Jon Wertheim has pointed out that the upcoming Indian Wells Masters has reduced media access areas compared to prior years, further criticizing the tennis federation’s actions.
Djokovic had earlier stressed the importance of helping out lower-ranked players as the Serb asserted that the system does not serve them a living out of the sport.
During the post-match press conference after his second-round win against Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday, the World No. 1 opined that it is the responsibility of tennis authorities to create a better structure that can concurrently sustain players at the top of the charts and also those who are playing at the bottom.
“We have to do a better job, we have to create a better system for them [lower-ranked players] to make a living, atleast break even,” he stated.
He also pointed out the inefficiency of the sport to not incorporate more than 400 players despite it being the fourth most globally watched sport in the world.
“We are the third or fourth most globally watched sports. [About] 1.3 billion people watch it, yet we can’t have more than 400 people living from this sport, both men and women,” asserted the Serb.
In light of the statement, Werthiem brought up yet another piece of news that points fingers at the slackness of tennis organizations. The journalist stated that it is “doubling disappointing” to learn about the organizers at Indian Wells cutting down media access areas compared to previous years.
“On a day @djokernole (rightly) wonders why the world’s No.3 sport can only support 400 full-time players financially, it was doubling disappointing/ironic to learn that @BNPParibasOpen has decided to reduce media access areas from prior years,” wrote Wertheim in his tweet.
The 2023 Indian Wells Masters is set to commence on March 6.
Novak Djokovic feels helping the lower-ranked players should be the “main goal” of tennis associations
Novak Djokovic stated that serving lower-ranked players should be the main objective for all tennis associations, considering they form the “majority” on tour.
Djokovic conveyed that the players at the top of the game, including him, are comfortable financially. However, he pointed out that it is equally important to provide financial aid to the players down the charts.
“The top of the game is doing well, of course. Can’t complain for myself. But I’m speaking on behalf of all the lower-ranked players who struggle to make a living. I think this is the main goal [to help them],” opined the 22-time Grand Slam champion during the post-match press conference.
The Serb pointed out that lower-ranked players make up the majority of the sport, making it even more important that their concerns are addressed.
“Those [lower-ranked players] are the majority. We are the minority. We are whatever, 100, 150 players in the world, men’s side, women’s side, all in all. You have tens of thousands of other players who say, ‘Hear us out,’ added the 35-year-old.
Meanwhile, on tour, Djokovic is currently taking part at the Dubai Tennis Championships. He will face off against Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals of the tournament on Friday.