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Old 01-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by andfor View Post

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.
Originally Posted by TCF View Post
In reality, it is even worse. The USTA study estimated it takes around $140000 in total expenses to stay on tour. So unless you are top 100, and more like top 80, you are not making a great living from playing tennis. and you have to stay in the top 80 for years to make it a career. Guys have had great years, reached the top 100, faded the end they will still end up feeding balls to old ladies most likely.
Prize money is not going to increase at this level - just not enough sponsor and spectator money coming in - and certainly no TV audience for advertisers/sponsors. Let's face it - tennis is very different than popular team sports. People don't want to watch it in big enough numbers (outside of majors) and players are not taken care of by teams. Not a lot of ways to change the system as it is, unless the USTA somehow comes up with something similar to other federations. I don't see it happening.
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