Key Biscayne: The ATP and the WTA Tour want the Grand Slam tournaments to hand out more money. The professional tours urged the chairmen of the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open on March 17 to commit more of those events' profits to prizes, health benefits and pension programs. Representatives of the tours and Grand Slams spoke during the Australian Open in January about how they can work together to promote tennis. The four major tournaments are overseen by the International Tennis Federation rather than the professional tours. 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. The Grand Slam Committee met last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, and issued a statement Monday outlining suggestions for improvements to the sport:
- a longer off-season (at least two months);
- a series of combined or back-to-back men's and women's tournaments;
- a combined year-end tournament;
- more emphasis on Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Olympic tennis.
Topics : Tennis