“Not a Lot In It For Us”: Denis Shapovalov Laments Reduced Prize Money at Tour Events

Published 03/20/2021, 1:17 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov celebrates winning a set during his first round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov has shared his thoughts on prize money reductions at several calendar ATP events as top tournament sponsors battle funds crunch in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The current World Number 12 said shrinking prize purse in top tournaments will result in more withdrawals as players will lose motivation to travel and put themselves through the grind week-in, week-out.

Denis Shapovalov says players losing out on motivation to play Tour events because of reduced prize money

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The 21-year-old Shapovalov, who was upset by South African qualifier Llyod Harris in the semi-final of the ongoing Dubai Open on Friday evening, said the players are in a dilemma as they are under pressure from sponsors to play the calendar events.

“There’s not really a lot in it for us other than the Slams at this point,” the Canadian said, adding, “We have other other obligations from sponsors, contracts that obligate us to play as well.”

He said the ATP minders should consider restoring the prize money to previous levels or risk pullouts.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his first round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Shapovalov added that if it wasn’t for meeting the obligations of sponsors, most players “just wouldn’t play at all”.

Denis Shapovalov says he wants to cut down events to escape the bubble boredom

“I feel there are better ways to solve this problem and go about it from the ATP side,” the Canadian said.

He added that the only reason why he travels to tournaments despite the dwindling prize money is that he enjoys it.

The Canadian said Doha and Dubai were “new tournaments” for him and he enjoyed the first-hand feel of the crowd and ambience even in these Covid times.

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He added that he was trying to cut down on appearances at events in a bid to escape the boredom of the bubble.

“I’m trying not to play a lot, just to stay out of these bubbles too because it’s mentally draining,” Shapovalov said.

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He added that while he is enlisting in tournaments in a bid to pick up more wins, titles and ranking points, the “bigger guys” don’t have the urge to travel and compete, especially with the prize money going down.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

863 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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