In magnanimous move, the big three” in men’s tennis have proposed the creation of a $4 million (£3.2 million/€3.7 million) relief fund to help those ranked between 250 and 700 in the world during the coronavirus pandemic.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have suggested players in the top 100 of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world rankings, and the top 20 in doubles, to contribute to the fund.
Djokovic, the world number one and President of the ATP Player Council, outlined the proposal in a letter to all players on the ATP circuit.
It would see players give to the fund using a sliding scale, with the top five in the world – Djokovic, Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Federer and Daniil Medvedev – donating $30,000 (£24,000/€28,000).
Those ranked between five and 10 would contribute $20,000 (£16,000/€18,000), while players who occupy positions between 10 and 20 would give $15,000 (£12,000/€14,000).
Players who fall into the 20 to 50 rankings bracket would donate $10,000 (£8,000/€9,000) and $5,000 (£4,000/€4,600) would be contributed by those who are ranked between 50th and 100th.
Djokovic said this would generate around $1.05 million (£839,000/€966,000), which would come in addition to a similar amount donated by the ATP and $500,000 (£400,000/€460,000) from each of the four Grand Slams.
“We feel that we all need to get together and help these guys out,” Djokovic wrote in the letter.
“Many of them are thinking to leave pro tennis because they just can’t survive financially. ATP has around 700 members and we should try to take care of all of them. We need to send the message to the tennis community and sports world that we care for each other and especially the future of tennis.”
In solidary to this noble proposal, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman Andrea Gaudenzi claimed his organisation “will try to help” players struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 46-year-old Gaudenzi became ATP chairman in January, having enjoyed a successful career as a player from 1990 to 2003.
During an interview on ATP Tennis Radio, he revealed the organisation would “try to help” players that may be in financial difficulty due to the suspension of ATP events until June 7.
“Our guys are at home, obviously unable to play, unable to earn money and financially struggling, so we will try to help,” he said.
“The difficult part of it is also being conscious that the ATP reserves and resources are not infinite. We depend on the tournaments to be played and we don’t know when we will go back on court. “
“One of the large revenue streams of the ATP is actually the ATP Finals”, he concluded.