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wiibssz 09-30-2012 03:45 AM

Writing essay for school
Hey everyone,

I'm writing an essay about the payments of the lower ranked players and the eventual boycott of the australian open. I want to write in my essay what players can do legall-wise. I was looking at the rulebook of the atp, but I could't find anything that really stands out as a rule for players if they do not want to play grand slams or other tournament. How do they do that? Do they make a case about that? Or do they handle it inside the ATP?

I hope my question is a bit clear, it's hard to describe. Hopefully someone can help me out!

Thanks in advance.

tenniscasey 09-30-2012 10:24 AM

The players can individually do whatever they want. They're independent contractors; the ATP isn't a union that makes binding choices for all its members. The ATP is merely the players' group that organizes the professional tour.

The main problem is that if players banded together to destroy a tournament, they could face charges for breaking antitrust laws. Moreover, the top players are risking creating a schism in men's pro tennis by threatening this boycott; they won't really help the struggling players by breaking away and making the early rounds of ATP events less compelling than they already are.

So realistically, the chances of an AO boycott are zero.

Dags 09-30-2012 11:08 AM

There are certain rules in place, but they are aimed at higher ranked players. In particular, the top 30 at the end of the year are 'Commitment Players'. The following is from


C.Commitment Player
A 2012 ATP commitment player is any player positioned in the Top 30 in the South African Airways ATP 2011 Rankings (singles) as of November 14, 2011.

D. Commitment
The commitment for the commitment players is, the singles event of all ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments for which he is accepted, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (if qualified as a direct acceptance or designated as the alternate) and four (4) ATP World Tour 500 tournaments, one (1) of which must be held following the US Open. For commitment and ranking purposes, the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 will be included in the minimum requirements for the 500 category. 2012 Davis Cup points may be counted as one (1) of the best of six (6) in the ATP World Tour rank- ings, however, it shall not count towards the commitment requirement of a commit- ment player.
The 4 Grand Slams are run by the ITF, and I don't think any player are obligated to play, should they choose not to do so.

From a tournament perspective, the organisers are far more interested in the higher ranked players. They are the ones that will pull in a crowd, and make the tournament a success. In smaller tournaments, top players are even paid 'appearance fees' in order to lure them.

The reality is that lower-ranked players have little leverage when it comes to payments. The Grand Slams are where they can potentially receive their biggest pay day: the size of the draw means they have a better chance to qualify, and at the AO in 2012, first-round losers took home A$20k. Whilst a boycott at such an event may give them the highest exposure, it would also cost them.

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