Serena Williams’ coach calls for change, saying ‘extreme levels of inequality’ in tennis is ‘revolting’
Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach, has highlighted the financial struggles of players outside the top 100, saying it is time to help those players.
With tennis on a hiatus until at least July 13 due to the coronavirus, it has left players who are dependent on prize money without an income.
The elite tennis players and those ranked inside the 100 are likely to still have an income despite the current crisis as they often have sponsors.
In an open letter on Twitter, Mouratoglou explained the inequality in tennis.
My letter to the tennis community to raise awareness about the current situation of players out of the Top100. pic.twitter.com/mFTIECxOFL
— Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) April 7, 2020
“Players ranked outside the top 100 are barely breaking even and most of them are forced to fund their careers to keep playing professionally. Their lives are a financial struggle,” he wrote.
“Unlike basketball or football players, tennis players aren’t covered by fixed annual salaries. They’re independent contractors.
“They’re paying for their travels. They’re paying fixed salaries to their coaching staff, while their own salaries depend on the number of matches they win. It’s a meritocracy-based system – which is perfectly fine to me. Top players 100% percent deserve their salaries.
“However, I find it revolting that the 100th-best player of one of the most popular sports in the world – followed by an estimated one billion fans – is barely able to make a living out of it.
“Per former top 10 player Tim Mayotte ‘you would have to make about $200,000 from prize money and/or endorsements to make a living wage’.
“Per current world No. 225 Noah Rubin, ‘for somebody outside the top 50 or 100, you don’t have many sponsorships outside the court, and if you do it’s minor, you can’t live off them’.”
Mouratoglou says it is time for the tennis community to come up with solutions to help players outside the top 100 who don’t have sponsorships deals.
“What happens when players are forced out of work for an undefined period of time? Well, they don’t get paid,” he wrote.
“Some of them are giving up on their dreams and are calling it a career.
“It’s been the case for too long. Although we have done away with the long-established male supremacy in the financial field, tennis retains one of the most extreme levels of inequality in any sport.
“The thing is, tennis crucially needs them to survive. Tennis can’t live only off its elites. The tours would atrophy.”
He continued: “Because the tour is on pause for the reasons we all know, these players do not get any income, and unlike most top-100 players, they do not have any money on the side or sponsorship deals to live on.
“It is time to think about those players and help them, first in the immediate future, then in the long-term.”
Novak Djokovic ‘met the goal he set out at the beginning of the season’, says his coach
A good season for Novak Djokovic.
Tennis Top 10
ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2020: Novak Djokovic at No 1 with two surprise names on the list
Novak Djokovic sitting pretty at No 1.
WTA to adopt ATP-style categories with events changed to WTA Masters, WTA 500, WTA 250?
Changes in line for WTA categories, according to a report.
Dominic Thiem hopes to emulate his coach and experience ‘incredible’ medal winning emotions at Olympics
Dominic Thiem sets sights on Tokyo Olympics.
British tennis given a boost as the LTA agrees a new partnership with Dunlop
LTA ends challenging year on a high with Dunlop deal.
EXCLUSIVE – Davis Cup captain Leon Smith echoes Andy Murray views as he outlines his vision for tennis in 2021
Leon Smith hopes tennis can return to normal in 2021.
Daniil Medvedev: ‘Inside of me there is a winner that maybe sometimes is a bit childish’
Daniil Medvedev determined to drop the antics.
‘We have so much fun together,’ says Dominic Thiem as he joins Roger Federer at 2021 Laver Cup
“I’m really excited to be a part of Team Europe.”
How ‘skinny guy’ Juan Martin del Potro ‘won’ Diego Maradona’s heart and made football icon ‘very happy’
Maradona shared a special relationship with ‘Martin’.
Big changes confirmed for 2021 Madrid Open as tournament announces ‘well-deserved’ expansion
Madrid Open set for a revamp.