Tennis is unlike many professional sports. The top 100 tennis players in the world are able to make a living for themselves. Anyone who is outside of the top 100 in the world is struggling with many challenges. If you compare the top 100 players in other sports to tennis players, you would be astonished. NFL, NBA, and MLB players with similar rankings to tennis players outside of the top 100 make much more money.
Players are beginning to speak up about their tough lives on tour and the lack of financial comfort. Vasek Pospisil is one player who has recently spoken about the lack of prize money on the ATP Tour. He is on the player council and is fighting for players trying to make a living on tour.
Pospisil continues to fight for more prize money on the ATP Tour. Keep up with his fight here:
Players are beginning to give up their dreams of becoming a professional tennis player due to loneliness and accumulating costs on tour. Loneliness on tour is a common problem. As players travel the world playing futures and ITF level tournaments they are away from their family and friends for weeks at a time. Not to mention, teams cost money; causing many players to travel alone. Foreign countries can be scary for many players traveling alone, especially the younger players trying to make a name for themselves. Being alone during tough losses is definitely challenging. Add the costs into that and a player can begin to lose hope.
Costs add up on tour. Consider travel costs like flights, cars, laundry, hotels and a healthy diet. Then add into the picture paying for all of these things just to have a chance at making a little bit of money. Many players beginning their professional careers are chasing ATP/ITF points in hard to reach countries with foreign languages and cultures. Sickness and jet lag are huge issues when trying to achieve peak performance during these tournaments.
Lower ranked professional tennis players need to make more money in order to be able to make a living doing what they love. Increased prize money for these lower-level tournaments is necessary to make a living and to reach the top. The ATP needs to allow the lower-ranked players to make a living just as the lower level player do in other sports.
Do you think you can handle life on tour? Is it causing the sport to die?
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