Novak Djokovic‘s plan to create fund for players ranked outside top-250 to help them during the coronavirus pandemic is ‘difficult to push forward’, says India tennis star Yuki Bhambri. Also Read - Shocking! Family of Covid-19 Victim Forced to Flee With Half-Burnt Body After Mob Attacks Them In Jammu
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have backed Djokovic’s idea that each player ranked in the top-100 donate some money to the Player Relief Fund. However, the likes of Dominic Thiem and Llyeton Hewitt have opposed the suggestion. Also Read - Ricky Ponting Looked After me Like a Child, Was a Father Figure: Hardik Pandya
Bhambri feels that creating fund is a short-term solution which won’t fix the problem fundamentally. Also Read - England vs West Indies 2020 Full Fixtures Announced: International Cricket Set to Return in UK From July 8
“I think it’s difficult to push forward with what they have done. From what I have heard, there are a lot of players who have reservations about it,” Bhambri told The Times of India.
He continued, “People would be actually happier to give the money to people who are fighting in the frontline, the health workers, or the labourers, people who require help, rather than random tennis players around the world whom you are competing with.”
Bhambri, one of the three Indians to have won the junior Grand Slam singles titles, suggests increasing the prize money instead.
“I think the best way is to try to increase the prize money now. It is peanuts to what the most of the tour earns, or the revenue that the Grand Slams and the Masters generate,” he said.
The 27-year-old felt that more prize money for those exiting Grand Slam events at early stages would be a good step.
“You have to increase the back end of the tournaments, not add another million dollars to the winner. It’s $3.5mn (for the Grand Slam winner), don’t think it matters anymore. It should go to the qualifiers, winners of the first to the fourth round in Slams. That is much better than the one time payout of five-ten thousand dollars,” he said.
Bhambri has also finally found a solution to his knee-injury that has kept him out of action since October 2018. Despite that injury, he went on the play in his maiden Wimbledon Championships appearance.
After visiting several doctors with no avail, he finally zeroed in on Angel Ruiz Cortorro, the doctor Nadal has been going to since his junior days
“I had to go there (Barcelona) a few times. The treatment was in September, and in end-October and November,” said Bhambri, happy that he didn’t have to go under the knife. I did my rehab there as well, a month and a half. I started to walk around, move a little bit, basic exercises. I kept getting better and progressing, then I came back home,” he said.