Former World No. 1 tennis player Jim Courier says that the ATP Tour can use the current tennis shutdown to fast track efforts to move more money to the earlier rounds. In an interview to the Tennis Channel, Courier says, “Prize money has been moving at the tours’ lead, they’ve been moving more to the earlier rounds and the qualifying.
They have a five-year plan on the ATP to do that. This crisis is an opportunity to fast track that and help the lower-ranked players”. Courier, who won $14 million in prize money, said that several of the lower ranked players will require financial support during the tennis shutdown.
"First of all, you start with the kind of resources these players have. Which level of prize money income do players not have enough to pay their rent? To pay their electronic bill? I think we have to start looking around (number) 200 (on the) prize money list from 2019.
I think that all of the tournaments that do get to be played at this end of this year, they need to be supplementing the other tournaments. This is not a year for people to make profits. This is a year for tennis to help each other and survive."
The American, who is now a top commentator in the sport, says that the problems faced by tennis players is the same as the problems faced in all other parts of the world now. "If (tennis) is a macro version of the micro problem we are facing in the world right now, how do we keep people moving, keep people with food and shelter? In tennis, we are very blessed.
We’re a luxury item, but there are people such as the coaches, the physios, all these are relying on tennis – so many pieces of this puzzle."