World No. 3 Dominic Thiem says that no one read the whole interview that he had given in which he spoke about his thoughts on the player relief fund proposed by the ATP Tour and feels that people only bought into the headlines, which misrepresented what he had to say.
In an earlier interview, Thiem said he was not in favour of the Player Relief Fund planned by Novak Djokovic and the seven governing bodies of tennis and would prefer if he could choose who he wanted to help. After his comments, Algerian player Ines Ibbou posted a video online addressed to Thiem speaking about her journey and struggles and asking him to respect her and several others who were trying to overcome obstacles to reach their dreams.
Speaking to L'Equipe, “I didn’t watch the whole video but I did see what she said. The thing is, no one has read the entire interview I gave. All the newspapers and magazines had headlines about it, which was unfair.
If people had read everything, it wouldn’t have taken on these proportions. It’s the first thing. I think there are people and organizations that need more support than tennis players. I want to choose who I help and not to be forced into who I have to give it to.
I already help young players in Austria. I do not speak of this for my image. I do it because they deserve it and because I want to." Thiem clarified that his comments about some players not being professional were based on his observations on some players he had seen, but not as a generalisation of all the players on the circuit.
"If you want to succeed in tennis you have to give 100%. When I was younger I played two and a half years in Futures. There are players who have been there for seven or ten years and who do not behave as professionals. So I know that there are players who do not have a professional attitude.
They are not all, only some. That is why I prefer to choose who to help. " He also commented that the prize money distribution at challenger events should be better distributed. "I think the prizes could be better distributed.
The level in the Challengers is very high, there is a lot of level and it is difficult to win one. The players of these tournaments should win more money. If a player travels to a challenger with a coach and a physio you have to reach the final to win money."