Australian Open boss calls for urgent overhaul of world tennis' 'unhealthy' leadership
Sydney, Aug 27(ANI): Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has called for a swift overhaul of world tennis' unhealthy leadership following reports about a possible mass boycott of the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne by players.
Tiley is confident that the Australian Open's reputation as the 'Happy Slam' along with the richest purse in tennis and 'very strong relationship with the players' will ensure Roger Federer and company show up in January for the mega event.
However, Tiley clearly admits the players deserve a larger slice of the Grand Slam pie, and hopes their demands for more prize money will lead to a major upheaval of the sport's governance.
Tiley believes a bigger concern is the alarming earnings potential or lack thereof between the sport's strugglers, who ply their trade on the Futures and Challengers tours, and the top 100 who contest the slams and regular ATP events.
We are the first to say that for tennis to be a viable career, the top 250 players need to make a good living. The top 250 players in tennis make about a quarter of the amount of money in tennis as they do in golf, The Herald Sun quoted Tiley, as saying.
From 1980 to 2011, per tournament, grand slam prize money has increased by 1095 per cent. (Prize money on) the ATP Tour has increased by 216 per cent and the Challengers and the Futures level tournaments decreased by 15 per cent, he added.
In 1985, a Futures event was $15,000. Today, it's $15,000. So that's a problem. I look at that as being the biggest problem because it hasn't changed in 30 years, 25 years, he said.
Tiley further said: Just looking at the slams as the solution is short-sighted. I think the solution lies in the governance of the sport, it lies in the feeder events, the Futures and Challengers. (ANI)