This Coronavirus pandemic has hit all sorts of workers all over the world. People working in the tennis industry have not been spared. Freelance journalists, stringers, coaches, trainers, shops, websites, and brands are just some of the stakeholders that have been badly hit. What about tennis players? While the top players will lose a big chunk of revenue, but they are not struggling at all in their daily life, the situation is much worse for lower-ranked players.
A few years ago, when Jerzy Janowicz found sudden stardom after a couple of incredible runs, he highlighted the fact that during his career he had to sleep in a car because he was struggling with the money. Now, many lower-ranked players are admitting that they are having financial issues and they may leave the sport for good.
Djokovic’s Player Releif Fund
The world no.1 has a kind soul and he raised $6 million for a Player Relief Fund to help lower-ranked players. However, not everybody agrees with that.
Dominic Thiem refused the idea that top players should contribute to the fund stating that some lower-ranked players are not putting the same effort as the very best in the sport. The Austrian released the following comments when talking with Krone Sport:
“None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100%. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money.
I’d rather donate to people and institutions, who really need it. There is no profession in the world, where you are guaranteed success and high income at the start of your career. None of the top players took anything for granted. We all had to fight our way up the rankings.”
Berrettini also disagrees with Djokovic’s idea, but he has a slightly different point than Thiem.
“I think that this responsibility belongs to the federations, ITF, ATP, WTA. They are the ones who make tournaments happen, and we, the players, pay them back with our performances. They have to take care of us. The real problem is deeper.”
As reported by La Marca, the Argentine is on Berrettini’s side to comment:
“It’s not the same for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer to put in $30,000 when they have won $100 million. I can’t be required to contribute when they don’t know my economic position.
There’s Christian Garin. He’s ranked No. 18 because he had a good start, but I find it arbitrary that he should have to pay so much because of his ranking. And someone like Jack Sock, who is below Top 100, would get help even though he had earned more than $10 million during his career.”
Novak’s compatriot, Aleksandra Krunic is in the WTA Players’ Council and she also disagreed with the idea to comment: “Girls don’t agree that they need to pay 600-700 players. Unanimously. And I agree with this, although I’m always for justice, let’s do the same for everyone. But if Grand Slam is giving money, then, first of all, you want to help people, who play them. If you don’t qualify for the Grand Slams, you don’t earn anything.”
The Aleksandra added something interesting: “It turns out that someone in the top 500 will earn more during coronavirus now than he earned in a year. If you have been in the top 500 for a couple of years, if you do not have a coach, you cannot afford it, then, of course, you should expect that you will be in the red. We all went through this,”
Novak Djokovic’s ranking and performance in 2020
Currently the world no.1, the Serbian played his last match on the 29th of February when he overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in the final in Dubai to win his 80th career title.
Currently, this year the Serbian has a 18-0 win-loss record. The Serbian conquered 2 titles in 2020 at the Australian Open and in Dubai.
Dominic Thiem’s ranking and performance in 2020
Currently ranked no.3 (career-high), the Austrian played his last match on the 22nd of February when he was overcome by Gianluca Mager 7-64 7-5 in the quarter in Rio De Janeiro.
Dominic Thiem’s most significant accomplishment of the current season was reaching the final at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem played each other 11 times. The head to head is 7-4 for Djokovic. The last time that they locked horns, Novak Djokovic won 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the final in Melbourne (Australian Open) on the 2nd of February 2020.
In the following video you can watch the key moments of their match.
Matteo Berrettini’s ranking and performance in 2020
At the moment ranked no.8 (career-high), Berrettini played his last match on the 22nd of January when he was overcome by Tennys Sandgren 7-67 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5 in the 2nd round of the Australian Open.
Guido Pella’s ranking and performance in 2020
Ranked no.35, the Argentine played his last match on the 18th of February when he was defeated by Thiago Moura Monteiro 5-7 6-4 7-63 in the 1st round in Rio De Janeiro.
Matteo Berrettini and Guido Pella have never played each other.