Grand Slam officials discuss player demands

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Officials from tennis' 4 Grand Slams discussed players' demands that those events commit more money to prizes, promotion and pension programmes.

Grand Slam officials discuss player demands

Paris: Officials from tennis' four Grand Slams met on Thursday at the French Open to discuss players' demands that those events commit more money to prizes, promotion and pension programmes. The two-hour session was preparation for upcoming talks with other key groups in the sport, according to a tennis source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Over the next week, Grand Slam executives plan to meet representatives of male and female players, a group that oversees the nine Masters Series men's tournaments, and possibly agents, the source said. Subjects include the sport's schedule and money. In March, the ATP and WTA Tour urged the chairmen of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open to share more of their profits. Prize money at ATP events has decreased about 10 per cent over the past three years to just over $55 million in 2003, with the largest drop in payments for doubles. The men's prize money at the Grand Slam events rose 13 per cent to a combined total of about $22.4 million last year. Unlike most other major sports, tennis doesn't have a commissioner, and decisions come from various sources, including the pro tours and the International Tennis Federation, which oversees the four major tournaments. Now there's a new component: The International Men's Tennis Association, a breakaway players' union, which also will meet with the Grand Slam chiefs in Paris. The IMTA aims to replace the ATP player council. "The ATP are not really looking out for the players and the good of the game as much as they should be," said Wayne Ferreira, the 14-year tour veteran from South Africa, who is an IMTA leader. "Nobody ever knows what decisions are made". Among the concerns he cited: Prize money, the retirement fund, and a lack of effort in introducing top players to the public. He said 65 players, including No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, signed a legal document making them members of the IMTA. Ferreira said the group plans to announce the names of its members next week at Roland Garros. The ATP turned over some financial information at the IMTA's request. "There needs to be a lot of concern, from the players' standpoint, if this thing winds up being an entity. I think that's no good for the sport. It's a mirror image of what we already have," said Todd Martin, in his third stint as president of the ATP player council. "We as players can represent ourselves better, but we don't need to change the organization". The ATP player council and IMTA "agree about a lot of what needs to be changed", Martin said. (AP)
Topics : Tennis
Related Articles
IPTL 2016: Indian Aces Go Down 20-24 To UAE Royals
IPTL 2016: Indian Aces Go Down 20-24 To UAE Royals
IPTL 2016: Indian Aces Beat Singapore Slammers 24-19
IPTL 2016: Indian Aces Beat Singapore Slammers 24-19
All Top Stars Confirmed For Australian Open
All Top Stars Confirmed For Australian Open
Show Comments
Advertisement