As president of the ATP Player Council, Novak Djokovic presented a proposal last April that would guarantee a $ 4 million grant to second-tier players. The forced stop due to the global pandemic has brought all sports to their knees, forced to suspend all competitions for several months.
Both circuits will resume in August, waiting to know the fate of the trip to the United States and especially the US Open. In this context, well-known journalist Mike Dickson and former British player Dan Kiernan expressed some skepticism about the redistribution of the prize pool by tournaments and the willingness of top players to make sacrifices to help their most needy colleagues.
The resumption of the season has been scheduled until Roland Garros, while the cancellation of the Asian tournaments is already certain.
Dickson on Novak Djokovic
"Everyone can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk is the question," Mike Dickson said.
"Will the top players be prepared to forgo these enormous winners' purses and top bloating of the prize money to help those lower down the food chain? And will the tournaments go along with it, provided the top players give it their blessing?" - he added.
"I mean, everyone will have to get used to the idea of earning lesser prize money certainly for a few years, the revenues are gonna be down, and the players will have to suck it up for a few years. It's a bit absurd that players like Novak Djokovic can take these winner's purses which can be around $4M.
I think they have got a bit out of proportion," the sports journalist continued. Novak Djokovic's comments came across in bad taste, and did not sit well with the Serb's initial concerns about the players' financial well-being.
"Ultimately, I think this is a selfish individual sport," Dickson said. "You have to look out for yourself, because no one else is going to. So people are going to pursue their own interests. This crisis has exposed the fractured nature of the leadership of the sport, and that we would really be much better off with much centralized leadership."
There have been some concerns from the tennis community about the safety of restarting the Tour at the moment, especially given the coronavirus outbreak at the recent Adria Tour, which saw world number one Novak Djokovic test positive for the illness.