World No. 204 Andrew Harris, from Australia, says that among the Big Three, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is most interested in pushing the agenda for better prize money distribution at the lower levels of the sport but criticized the ATP Tour and its leadership for the way they have handled the current crisis.
Andrew Harris on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Speaking on the Break Point podcast, the 26 year old Harris, who has been ranked as high as No. 159 in the world last year, says, “Roger, Rafa and Novak.
They’ve been at the top for so long, they almost forget what it’s like to be in these lower positions. I know Federer is all for the money at the top. He might say in public what people want to hear, that he’s all for money being redistributed to lower-ranked players … but when it comes to voting, his preference is to keep it at the top.
I think Novak out of the top three is pushing the agenda to give money to the lower ranks hardest. (I’m unsure) whether that’s enough, but out of those three, I think he’s doing the most. It doesn’t affect them so they’re not that invested.
At world no. 1 or 2, you’ve got so much going on. Novak didn’t even join the Zoom call … He’s head of the Player Council and he’s not even on the call, didn’t show his face. There were images of him playing soccer at the same time.
That’s pretty ordinary”. Harris hit out at the ATP Tour for the lack of communication from the governing body since the time the tour was shut down. "We had a Zoom call three weeks ago now, it was the first bit of communication we had from the ATP since March.
It was good that we finally got some communication, but it took way too long. On the Zoom call, there were 400 people, all different groups. Everyone had their own different interests … It was a bit messy with groups of different people wanting their own thing.
I left that call getting nothing out of it except more questions and being more frustrated”. The Australian also criticised the ATP Chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, for not taking a pay-cut during the current shutdown. "I think it was (Marco) Trungelliti asked a question and Gaudenzi really talked down to him saying, 'You haven't seen this, you don't know what that looks like, you don't know that' Of course we don't when you don't shed light on anything with us.
We don't expect to have a screenshot of all these agreements; we just want some idea of what's going on. It was the way he communicated. He got pretty heated in putting him (Trungelliti) down a bit and you don't like to see that when guys haven't seen you and don't have anything to do with you.
The question was asked on the Zoom call for the men, 'has the ATP taken any pay cuts?' He said something like, 'after a day's work with what I've been doing, it feels like I've played a five-set match', something along those lines.
I was like, that's actually insulting, that as a reason to not take a pay cut. Everyone around the world is taking some sort of a pay cut and he's trying to justify why the ATP haven't." Besides being ranked No.
1 in the world, Novak Djokovic is also the President of the ATP Players Council currently. Djokovic has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles in his career so far.