Originally Posted by Mitch Bridge
In today's pro world players are playing against countries that are supplying coaches, physios, funding and a team atmosphere. A player out there without proper funding has no shot. When it is time to leave Futures and play primarily Challenger qualies, players have to travel to a new city every week, and it is very expensive. So, far too many players opt to stay at the Futures level where there in no chance of being a successul pro. Funding controls choices and choices can make or break a player even with the right game.
True. My understanding is at pro tournaments if you are from a particular country and your federation has coaches and physio's there and if you are from that country you can use them at any time. The USTA is the opposite if you are at a pro tournament and a US based player not part of PD you can not use the USTA resources.
Where I see the problem with the pro tour is that the early rounds at the ATP level and prize money at the Challeger and Futures levels needs to be increased. You are right that many player lower in the ranking choose not to pursue the highest ranking they might acheive due to the funding it takes to get their while not making enough prize money along the way to sustain ones self. The futures level has not had a prize money increase in years. Not sure how long it's been but I know that's the case.
In many team sports hundreds of nameless athletes make big money. In tennis if you're not in the top 150 in the world you probably lost money during the year. There's more money to go around and getting more at the early rounds and the lower circuit levels really should be addressed. I understand the Futures and Challeger levels should not be tours that fully self-sustain players, but a little more prize money to help these guys get by and give them a better shot should be addressed.