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Low-ranked tennis players to start getting minimum wage

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Tennis ball and a racket. Photo/CNBC
  • Lower-ranked male tennis players could start getting a minimum wage to ease financial pressure
  • Plans are in motion to ensure that people with rankings of 300 and higher receive a specific sum of money
  • They will now cover their monthly expenses comfortably

Lower-ranked male tennis players could start getting a minimum wage to ease the financial pressure they go through.

Plans are underway to ensure that people with rankings of 300 and higher receive a specific sum of money based on their anticipated income for a season.

This will inform a minimum sum of money to cover their expenses without necessarily breaking their backs for it.

It implies that rather than their salaries fluctuating based on how well they do, players can now make plans in advance knowing what they will be paid.

For a while now, world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic has been vocal on this subject. Djokovic always called for stronger financial incentives for lower-ranked male tennis to make them more competitive.

The Serbian has been a vocal supporter of providing financial aid to athletes whose travel expenses are higher because of the smaller prize money received from lesser-known competitions.

novak djokovic covid 19 vaccination

Novak Djokovic. Photo/CNN

According to the Daily Mail, this minimum wage will operate a little differently for tennis players. The payouts are likely to be lower for those who spend the majority of the year competing in Challenger tournaments.

It also states that the players still need to finalise and approve these amounts. Further, it represents a significant personal win for Djokovic, who has made various demands to the ATP Tour about player welfare.

The Serbian raised this issue since his days of playing with Canadian tennis player Vasek Pospisil when they founded the Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA) four years ago.

Speaking at a past press conference, PTPA said that all tennis players should be subject to an equitable percentage and prize money and annual earnings.

“Tennis players have the right to equitable, percentage-based player prize money, as well as annual player minimum compensation. Tennis players have the right to share fairly in the economic activity and wealth of tennis, which players have helped generate, underpinned by fair and just pay and working conditions,” PTPA said in a statement.

In response to the threat posed by the LIV Tour, the American PGA of Golf has implemented a similar plan worth $500,000 in the country.

The yet-to-be-determined amounts will be considerably less for their tennis counterparts who compete at the Challenger level of the circuit.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Los Angeles Times

Djokovic has won 93 ATP championships and 22 Grand Slams for total prize money of almost £135 million.

Although he advocates for a minimum wage, the 22-time Grand Slam Champion was once accused of making an unusual threat to boycott the 2019 Australian Open.

He reportedly said that he would only play if the total prize money was increased. Reports suggest that he made all boycott threats after getting winding of pay demands by lower-ranked players.

Although he later denied all this, his departure from the Players’ Council in 2020, to take leadership of the PTPA, said far more than his denials.

But with a minimum salary and an overall increase in prize money at Grand Slam events and ATP events, there is no need to resort to boycotting.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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