Melbourne: Newly appointed Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman and president Brad Drewett Wednesday played down threats of a strike but admitted that there are concerns among many players disillusioned over scheduling and prize money.
The Australian said tennis has never been in better shape but players were frustrated. Drewett said reports of support for strike action were sensational.
"I've read the articles. I think they're quite sensational in lots of ways. I'm obviously not going to go there," Drewett told reporters here at the Australian Open.
Some 150 players met Saturday before the start of the Open over the issues bothering men's professional tennis. Rafael Nadal also accused Roger Federer of remaining silent on the issues to retain his "gentleman" image.
Drewett said he has spoken to the players and from now on they would receive 20 per cent more prize money from tour events over the next three years.
"There are frustrations out there. I plan to take them on board, I've heard them. There is some frustration on certain points within the game," he said.
"That success is going to be reflected this year by an increase in prize money... which I think the players thoroughly deserve, given that they are driving a lot of the success of this sport," said Drewett, a former world No.34 and Australian Open quarter finalist.
"I saw it as a very constructive meeting where I want to encourage guys to speak openly in that forum, speak openly with me."
Drewett said from this year, players will have a two-week longer off season, with a shorter ATP tour officially finishing at the World Tour Finals in London, starting November 5.
"I think the game is clearly in a great spot. That doesn't mean there's not always going to be some issues on the side. That's for me to listen. I heard the players loud and clear the other night about their issues," he said.