World No. 3 Dominic Thiem has cast doubts over the bailout plan proposed the tennis’ ‘Big 3’ to help lower-ranked players who may find themselves struggling in the absence of tournaments due to coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - COVID-19 Scare at SAI Headquarters, Premises Sanitised
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic wrote a letter to fellow top-100 players to donate to those ranked between 250 and 700. The idea has been endorsed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Also Read - Coronavirus: Now People Spitting in Public Places Will be Fined Rs 500 in Haryana | Read Details Here
However, Thiem has questioned the professional attitude of some of the lower-ranked players saying he would rather donate to those who are in real need. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown Likely to be Extended Till June 15, Focus on 11 Major Cities With 705 Cases
“No tennis player is fighting to survive, even those who are much lower-ranked. None of them are going to starve,” Thiem told Austrian newspaper Krone. “I don’t really see why I should give such players money. I would rather give money to people or organisations that really need it.”
He continued, “There are many, many players who don’t put the sport above everything else and don’t live in a professional manner. None of us top players got anything handed to us, we all had to fight our way up. I don’t have the guarantee in any job that I will do well and earn lots of money.”
Thiem is not alone in his opposition to the proposal. Others including Australian tennis player John Millar has also raised his reservations.
“If the concern is to help players ranked 250-700 in the world why has it taken a global pandemic to realise this? Surely over the many years of top-end-heavy prize money increases we should have distributed the spread a little more,’ the World No. 43 posted on Twitter.
Apart from the financial assistance, there are plans to hold exhibition matches without spectators to raise funds and fill the tennis void.