World No.3 Dominic Thiem faced a lot of criticism for his comments about the lower-ranked players and his refusal to contribute to the Player Relief Fund. However, World No.43 John Millman has come out in support of him. Millman explained that everyone misconceived Thiem’s comments. The Australian argued that Thiem didn’t say he wouldn’t contribute to the fund, but rather that he wanted to donate to those who really need it.
Recently the President of the ATP Player Council, Novak Djokovic, outlined a plan along with the seven governing bodies of tennis to financially help the lower-ranked players during the coronavirus shut down. The idea behind the fund was that the top 100 players would donate an amount in the range of $5,000 to $30,000, depending on their rank.
Millman, however, believes that the problem lies with the governing bodies of tennis. He feels these organizations should have thought about these players earlier and promptly taken action.
“Look players outside 100 are struggling all year round whether there is coronavirus or not. I don’t think it should come down for someone like Dominic to prop up the tour. It should be managed better by the ATP, the WTA and the ITF,” Millman told AAP.
“There should have been a bigger effort earlier on for these organizations to have made it a priority to grow the game and help people make money from the game” he added.
“My biggest problem is that it has taken coronavirus for us to be talking about it. There have been plenty of opportunities over the years to try and get more people making money out of the sport. I don’t think we have done a good enough job,” Millman concluded.
Tennis’ governing bodies should certainly come together during the coronavirus hiatus. They need to find a solution for the players in the lower-echelons. After all, we don’t want any players to struggle to make a living because of their decision to pursue tennis professionally.