‘We have to show them they are not forgotten’ – Novak Djokovic reveals plans to help financially-hit players
Novak Djokovic has revealed plans he has drawn up with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to help financially support lower-ranked players hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tennis has been suspending since the second week of March and, as yet, there are no concrete plans to resume the as the coronavirus crisis continues to grip the world.
Higher-ranked players are generally okay due to past earnings in the sport, but fears have been raised over the future of players ranked outside of the to 100 who are a far more modest living from tennis.
Novak Djokovic has made a pledge to them that support is coming – and it’s coming from the top.
“I spoke to Roger and Rafa a few days ago and we had a conversation about the near future of tennis, [about] how we can contribute to help lower-ranked guys who are obviously struggling the most,” Djokovic revealed in a live webchat with Stan Wawrinka.
“A majority of players ranked between 250 to 700 or 1,000 don’t have federation support or sponsors and are independent and left alone.
“Players hopefully will [also] contribute collectively to the relief fund that the ATP [and others] will distribute using models and criteria.
“You want to avoid giving money to a player who fits into this category (low ranking) but does not need the money compared to someone else…hopefully between $3-4.5m (£2.4m to £3.6m) will be distributed to lower-ranked players.
“If we don’t have any events [in 2020], maybe next year’s Australian Open prize money can be contributed to the fund.”
Djokovic has already made two sizeable personal donations to healthcare systems attempting to fight the pandemic, one in his native Serbia and one in Italy.
He, though, also wants to make sure that his sport and the community within it is not overlooked.
“I’m glad the tennis eco-system is coming together. Everyone realises the base of tennis.
“These guys ranked 250 onwards are the ones making the future of tennis.
“We have to show them they’re not forgotten.”
Emma Raducanu plans to frame letter from the Queen as US Open glory sinks in
The 18-year-old is coming to terms with her new-found celebrity after her sensational success at Flushing Meadows.
Emma Raducanu has ‘changed landscape’ of tennis and British sport – Tim Henman
Former British number one Henman has tipped the 18-year-old to become a tennis superstar.
WTA Rankings: Emma Raducanu’s massive jump to No 23 after record point haul with US Open title run
Just the 2,040 points added to her WTA Rankings tally by Emma Raducanu.
‘Very, very special star’ Emma Raducanu backed to ‘rule the world’ after winning the US Open
Plenty of praise for young star Emma Raducanu.
When is Emma Raducanu’s next tournament? Will she still have to qualify following her US Open success?
Looking at what might come next for the 18-year-old.
US Open day 14: A perfect anniversary gift from Daniil Medvedev as he prepares to party, Dylan Alcott chugs down beer
There was a fittingly dramatic end to a wild US Open.
‘It’s a tough one to swallow, but I felt something I never felt in my life in New York,’ says Novak Djokovic’
Daniil Medvedev won his first Grand Slam by beating favourite Novak Djokovic.
WATCH: Daniil Medvedev performs peculiar celebration after US Open win and then explains what it meant
The FIFA legends will no doubt have enjoyed it.
Emotional Novak Djokovic claims a victory he feared would never come in US Open defeat
His Calendar Grand Slam dreams were shattered, but Novak Djokovic took solace from a moment that clearly touched him.
Daniil Medvedev stuns erratic Novak Djokovic to win US Open and deny world No 1 Calendar Grand Slam
Daniil Medvedev triumphed in straight sets.