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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

‘Why should I give them money?’: Dominic Thiem against Djokovic’s player relief fund

The relief fund is aimed to raise around $4.5million to help lower-ranked players when the professional tour is suspended for an indefinite period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: April 26, 2020 4:12:50 pm
Novak Djokovic with Dominic Thiem in the final of 2020 Australian Open. (Source: Twitter/@AustralianOpen)

After the governing bodies of tennis created a relief fund to financially help lower-ranked professionals during the coronavirus pandemic, Dominic Thiem has come out and expressed his disagreement over contributing to the campaign.

To aid players below the pecking order during the ongoing crisis, ATP, WTA, ITF, and the organizers of the four Grand Slams took a joint decision to help these players financially. Last week, Novak Djokovic, who is the President of the ATP Council, also mentioned that he has had “a long conversation” with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer about how they can “help lower-ranked guys who obviously are struggling the most.”

The program behind the player relief fund is aimed to raise around $4.5million to help players when the professional tour is suspended for an indefinite period. However, Thiem does not see a reason to donate to the fund.

“None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100%. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money,” said Thiem in an interview with Krone Sport.

“I’d rather donate to people and institutions, who really need it. There is no profession in the world, where you are guaranteed success and high income at the start of your career. None of the top players took anything for granted. We all had to fight our way up the rankings,” added the World No.3 who believes that the outbreak will have “a massive impact” on the rest of his season.

READ | ATP warns players of unsolicited help for creation of fund

Meanwhile, Federer called on Wednesday for a merger between the ATP and the WTA for better governance during a time when tennis is facing a deep financial crisis. The 20-time Grand Slam winner received huge support for his idea from the likes of Rafael Nadal, Stanislas Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios, Simona Halep and WTA founder Billie Jean King.

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