Marion Bartoli believes Dominic Thiem has damaged his reputation with his comments claiming some struggling professionals don’t deserve his financial help.
With tennis on the shelf since early March due to the coronavirus crisis, concern has been raised over the financial peril of lower-ranked players on the ATP and WTA circuits.
Novak Djokovic, among others, have pledged financial support for those struggling, but Thiem angered many by refusing to take part in the scheme, saying he alone will be the judge of who deserves his help.
“I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour who don’t 100 percent commit to the sport. Many are quite unprofessional,” the Austrian said.
“I don’t see why I should give them money.”
Bartoli, though, says his stance has probably cost him some of his popularity within the game.
“I think to me he phrased it quite badly,” Bartoli told Tennis Majors.
“When you have the whole world trying to help each other, I think it was a little bit too rude from him to say straight away ‘I’m not going to help those players.'”
However, despite that, Bartoli says she does empathise with Thiem’s view to a certain extent.
“I sort of understand his point, I think he wanted to say that he knows some of them or he knows the behaviour of some of them, and for him they are not behaving the way they should.
“They don’t train enough, they are not professional enough and therefore he doesn’t want to help them.
“Fine, but I’m sure he knows two or three guys in that group that work extremely hard, are trying their hardest and still don’t make enough money.
“I think to scratch completely the idea and say he is not giving anything, I think he’s making his image quite damaged, and I think that’s a bad communication.”
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