American star favours dramatic tennis revamp that will see top players compete in only 14 marquee events
Taylor Fritz has thrown his weight behind a sensational tennis revamp that could see the men’s tour split into two with the top players competing in only the marquee events.
News emerged earlier this year that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is looking to invest in tennis and things took a fresh twist last week when it was reported that a breakaway tour could be formed.
The new premium tour would be similar to the way Formula 1 and golf’s PGA Tour are structured as only the biggest events – the four Grand Slams and 10 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments – would be part of the calendar.
That would leave the ATP Tour to run all other events, including the ATP 500 and ATP 250 events, with players outside the top 100 competing in those tournaments.
World No 10 Fritz is in favour of the suggestions as he is keen to get rid of the “crazy schedule for players”
“It’s a really good idea, and I think that we should have separate tours,” the American is quoted as saying by The Sydney Herald.
“If you’re on the main, top tour, you should be set to play all the big events, and they should all be slightly bigger-draw events to get basically everybody in the top 100 in, and I think that’s honestly all we should play.
“You can have 14 marquee events, and it makes tennis easy to follow for fans because all you have to pay attention to is those tournaments.
“There’s no people getting tons of points in between events, at like 250s and 500s [level], and more than anything, there’s no crazy schedule for us players.”
Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley believes a premium tour would be good for the sport of tennis and discussions have been held in the past.
However, there are no plans for a meeting between the seven sporting bodies, which includes the four Grand Slam Boards – the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open – at the upcoming Australian Open.
“The premium tour for the future of the sport has been on the table for quite a few years, and getting the sport motivated and activated to look at it more openly is something that is continuing to happen, which is exciting,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of work that’s got to be done, [and] a lot of parties have got to come together, but there is a big opportunity for the sport of tennis to deliver a product in a more co-ordinated, premium way.
“There have been attempts to do it for years, but the Grand Slams have done extremely well in this [premium] environment and continue to do well, and they are the times in the year when the players mobilise because this is where they want to make their most money, but also get their biggest profile globally.”
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