World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini absolutely believes the governing bodies of tennis should be the main force behind helping the lower-ranked players during the coronavirus pandemic. Novak Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, recently proposed that top-100 players financially support the player relief fund.
"I took a moment to reflect on my priorities, not because I don't respect the other players, because I believe that no player - in any kind of sports - should be put in the position of helping another player financially," Berrettini told Eurosport Italy's Call-azione show, per Reuters.
"I think that this responsibility belongs to the federations, ITF, ATP, WTA... they are the ones who make tournaments happen, and us, the players, pay them back with our performances. "They have to take care of us.
The real problem is deeper." Berrettini reveals he spoke with Djokovic and explained to the Serb that he would rather help more specific causes. Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, understood Berrettini and told the Italian supporting the player relief fund wasn't mandatory.
"We need to invest money in a different way in order to help lower-ranked players," Berrettini said. "Personally, I prefer to help other more specific causes. "I spoke with Djokovic and he told me 'don't worry Matteo, the donation is not mandatory.
It's something that you can agree on if you feel like it. If you prefer to buy masks for hospitals like Spallanzani or helping families in need, I respect you' "That's an important message, it should be spread outside of our players' circle."