Tennis faced one of the darkest times in its history due to the global pandemic. Both tours have been on the sidelines for nearly six months, players have complained about a large reduction in their earnings, and have seen massive losses across the board.
At the resumption of operations, the tournaments could not count on the presence of fans (if not in a very small part), forcing the organizers to make substantial reductions in the prize money. As if that weren't enough, during the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, world number 1 Novak Djokovic - along with Vasek Pospisil and other players - announced their will to establish the PTPA, a new association destined to play the role of players' union.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rejected the initiative of the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who nevertheless garnered a decent following among the Top 100. In the conference after the success over Jordan Thompson in Paris-Bercy, Nadal stressed the need for the world of tennis is united in such a tough time.
Nadal on prize money deductions in 2020
"The atmosphere between the players is good," said the 34-year-old. "We are all very aware of the problems and in the Players Council we have tried to find the best solutions.
Six hours ago we had a meeting. We are aware that tournament promoters must also survive. If tournaments don't do business there is no circuit. We are all rowing in the same direction. It is a very unique year," the 34-year-old added.
At the moment, Rafael Nadal has his sights set on a first title at the Paris Masters, where he faces compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarterfinal on Friday. However, his role in the council and his opposition to the PTPA could play a crucial role in the future of the men's tour, which is heading into another uncertain 2021 season.
He defends the quarterfinals in Paris and the victory in the Finals and is the one who has the least margin of error if you want to finish in the top five. German Alexander Zverev, with 5015 points, after taking away the 400 won at the Nitto ATP Finals, sees a possible source of points in Paris, considering last year's round of 16, so he could add up to 910.
It wouldn't be enough to overtake Roger, but in London he will have 400 points to defend, so he could move up if he showed his best level in a tournament where he already knows what it means to be champion. Looking at the historical statistics, it is striking to see how, in the event that Roger Federer loses two positions in the current ranking, he would lose his leadership in the ranking of the seasons ended in the top 5, and would be joined by Rafael Nadal.