Pospisil: Tennis Needs Change

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
It's almost like the players could set up an organisation which represents their needs/wants.

They could call it something like the Association of Tennis Professionals, or ATP for short. That has a nice ring to it - it could represent exactly who it says it represents.

 
a buddy of mine sent this article to me today. If it’s true that around 50% of most pro sports revenues goes to players and that the ATP’s rate is at 14%, then that needs to change. Allowing unionization like in other pro sports leagues would allow for negotiations of such matters.
 

Born Again

Rookie
If tennis players made more money, #100 ranked guys wouldn't be scrubs. It would attract better athletes to the sport.

You'd rather the revenue go in some fat businessman's bank account?
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
 

Robert F

Professional
Having a union doesn't violate a free market it becomes aggregate representation so they can pool their resources for the market.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
a buddy of mine sent this article to me today. If it’s true that around 50% of most pro sports revenues goes to players and that the ATP’s rate is at 14%, then that needs to change.
There's literally about 10 good arguments why both comparisons to other sports is pointless and that achieving a similar revenue split in tennis would be basically impossible.

But people just keep forgetting them and we keep needing to refresh everyone - including Pospisil apparently.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
They should all get paid more including the very top guys.

Free market is nonsense because tournaments rarely overlap so they benefit from having zero (or very little) competition.
 
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There's literally about 10 good arguments why both comparisons to other sports is pointless and that achieving a similar revenue split in tennis would be basically impossible.

But people just keep forgetting them and we keep needing to refresh everyone - including Pospisil apparently.
Well, that’s all well and good, as you seem to be privy to the issue... I admittedly am not. Guess I’ll just do some research and find out more about these 10 arguments to which you refer, since you didn’t cite any one of them nor did you post a link.
14% of revenue is less than 1/3 of 50%... so just seems outta whack.
 
There's literally about 10 good arguments why both comparisons to other sports is pointless and that achieving a similar revenue split in tennis would be basically impossible.

But people just keep forgetting them and we keep needing to refresh everyone - including Pospisil apparently.
Agree, hard to imagine tennis ever getting anywhere near a lot of the team sports Associations where things are setup like franchises and there are massive operational differences.

Do you think tennis pros might ever be able to get a return % close to what pros get on golf's main tour?
 
no wonder it is not very popular in US compare to team sports. Soccer, basketball & lacrosse is more popular in states (may others as well). After Roger, Rafa & Novak tennis popularity will deep big time.
 

KG1965

Legend
Tennis is not popular in the USA, Australia, Europe ... in the world.

It's true but there are no solutions.

The trend cannot be reversed, it is a sport that no longer matters. It's too expensive to play and the tournament matches to see are too long.

Match 2/3 are excessively long, you can't watch a match of 2 or 3 hours on TV in 2019.

The GS 3/5 matches are unlikely.
Young people get bored, a deadly bore.
The old ones have seen too many in the 80s and 90s.

No one sits on the couch to see Tomic v Medvedev for 2 hours.

O Federer v Nadal for the umpteenth time last 3 or 4 hours.

There are 1000 more fun things.
 

Pandora Mikado

Semi-Pro
(y)(y)(y)

Agree totally.

Along with unionized players, needs to be a unionized league as well. Tournaments, seedings, wildcards, rules, data archiving and even television broadcasting rights would be be more understandable and accessible for the public.

Tennis is a mess because of its individuality. Tournaments look out for themselves, like players. In its current structure why should anyone bother outside of themselves? There is no incentive.
 

Zebrev

Hall of Fame
Tennis should be fast paced but its currently played like golf, which a thousand little breaks and false starts. Tennis is something in this day and age that the time you invest is not a good return on investment anymore. Theres only a couple matches a year which really would attract new people. Don't know what the solution is, but they need to make sets shorter to increased the importance of each point.
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
Tennis is not popular in the USA, Australia, Europe ... in the world.

It's true but there are no solutions.

The trend cannot be reversed, it is a sport that no longer matters. It's too expensive to play and the tournament
I agree with you.

Pricey tournament officials need to be fired and replaced with 100-1000 times cheaper Chinese or Indian immigrants who will be quite happy to work 10 times harder for the players while content to meet their basic monthly personal needs.

That's what you call a free market.

And likewise for ATP players...

oh wait...
 
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Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
In this case that would be marketing, then, because the direct incentives are rigged to line tour organisers' pockets and not those of the players. Back to what @WhiskeyEE was saying, better prizing would change the quality of entrants. Not a difficult concept and entirely in line with the free market philosophy as it would end up generating more total revenue.
 

Enceladus

Legend
Tennis is not popular in the USA, Australia, Europe ... in the world.

It's true but there are no solutions.

The trend cannot be reversed, it is a sport that no longer matters. It's too expensive to play and the tournament matches to see are too long.

Match 2/3 are excessively long, you can't watch a match of 2 or 3 hours on TV in 2019.

The GS 3/5 matches are unlikely.
Young people get bored, a deadly bore.
The old ones have seen too many in the 80s and 90s.

No one sits on the couch to see Tomic v Medvedev for 2 hours.

O Federer v Nadal for the umpteenth time last 3 or 4 hours.

There are 1000 more fun things.
You write nonsenses. Tennis is the most popular individual sport and belongs into TOP 5 among all sports in a popularity.
 

KG1965

Legend
You write nonsenses. Tennis is the most popular individual sport and belongs into TOP 5 among all sports in a popularity.
In America, Europe and Australia close tennis clubs, young people prefer other sports, nobody plays tennis. Nobody.
Maybe in China and Asia they will play tennis.
Tennis is a sport that is little followed.
People don't know who the top 30 in the world are. They don't even know a name. Someone barely knows the number one. Who knows Djokovic?

The problem is to understand if there is a way to re-evaluate a sport that seems outdated because it does not seem suitable for TV.
Even tournament locations are often deserted.
It is not helpful to claim that there are billions of persons playing once a year.
 

KG1965

Legend
What are the changes that need to be made so that people know who the top 30 in the world are, since they don't know the number one?
 

Robert F

Professional
I'm not a fan of shortening tennis. But I understand the argument of younger generations lacking the interest to watch anything over an hour long match. But is changing the sport the answer? I still feel improving the access of the sport would go a long way. Cheaper tickets so people not corporate sponsors would have seats.

Is there a way to incorporate the sport in people's youth more? Maybe this is where organizations like the USTA need to step up and build local public clubs. How you get the money for that I don't know?

But I feel the interest in tennis in the US continue to decline. I'm fortunate to have a dozen courts spread over a few parks within a few miles of my home. I can usually go to any of the courts and get on. Maybe once in the last 5 years did I have to drive to one of the other locations. On top of that, when I play most of the time no one else comes to the court. The local outdoor club is virtually empty during the weekends except for one morning league on Saturday.

The scary thing is many park districts are now building pickle ball courts or converting tennis courts to pickle ball courts. What makes that more appealing? Is it a lower skill sport? I just find the demands of tennis to be more exciting and challenging compared to the various paddle/pickle sports.

Unfortunately, the complexity of what makes tennis great might also be its downfall into entry into the sport. It probably requires more training and has a fairly steep learning curve at the start. This might be crazy but maybe we should start having green dot leagues for adults?
 

KG1965

Legend
I'm not a fan of shortening tennis. But I understand the argument of younger generations lacking the interest to watch anything over an hour long match. But is changing the sport the answer? I still feel improving the access of the sport would go a long way. Cheaper tickets so people not corporate sponsors would have seats.

Is there a way to incorporate the sport in people's youth more? Maybe this is where organizations like the USTA need to step up and build local public clubs. How you get the money for that I don't know?

But I feel the interest in tennis in the US continue to decline. I'm fortunate to have a dozen courts spread over a few parks within a few miles of my home. I can usually go to any of the courts and get on. Maybe once in the last 5 years did I have to drive to one of the other locations. On top of that, when I play most of the time no one else comes to the court. The local outdoor club is virtually empty during the weekends except for one morning league on Saturday.

The scary thing is many park districts are now building pickle ball courts or converting tennis courts to pickle ball courts. What makes that more appealing? Is it a lower skill sport? I just find the demands of tennis to be more exciting and challenging compared to the various paddle/pickle sports.

Unfortunately, the complexity of what makes tennis great might also be its downfall into entry into the sport. It probably requires more training and has a fairly steep learning curve at the start. This might be crazy but maybe we should start having green dot leagues for adults?
This is the point.
Then a person may have an idea to change tennis, and another person may have another idea. The fact is that the tennis courts are deserted and the tournaments on TV do not look anyone.
 

mightyrick

Legend
The individual nature of tennis has been its greatest enemy. Tennis is not accessible enough as something like golf. Golf should not be the norm that tennis tries to follow and/or emulate. Golf is an outlier. Because of that, I've actually always thought that tennis needed to become a team sport. Not unlike World Team Tennis. Hell, even auto racing has teams.

By having teams, an entire infrastructure can be created around the needs of the team members. You can have salaries. You can have budgets. You can have fans who support entire teams. You can have salary caps. Teams can have sponsors. Players can negotiate salaries and incentives into their contracts. It works well for other international sports. I think it could work well for tennis.

This whole prize purse thing makes no sense, anymore. Once a team structure is formed, at that point, the ATP can become a true players union. But you simply cannot have collective bargaining without teams. It doesn't work.
 

KG1965

Legend
What was the world audience for the men's Wimbledon final this year ?
Millions of people who have seen the last set.
Few have seen the 5 sets.
An infinitely small number saw 30 matches 3/5.
But who watches them 3-round matches at Wimbledon that last more than 2 hours? The parents of the players. Maybe.
 

KG1965

Legend
The individual nature of tennis has been its greatest enemy. Tennis is not accessible enough as something like golf. Golf should not be the norm that tennis tries to follow and/or emulate. Golf is an outlier. Because of that, I've actually always thought that tennis needed to become a team sport. Not unlike World Team Tennis. Hell, even auto racing has teams.

By having teams, an entire infrastructure can be created around the needs of the team members. You can have salaries. You can have budgets. You can have fans who support entire teams. You can have salary caps. Teams can have sponsors. Players can negotiate salaries and incentives into their contracts. It works well for other international sports. I think it could work well for tennis.

This whole prize purse thing makes no sense, anymore. Once a team structure is formed, at that point, the ATP can become a true players union. But you simply cannot have collective bargaining without teams. It doesn't work.
There could be about ten points of suffering, one being the fact that tennis is individual sport.
But while people have more patience for a team sport (and therefore the duration can be as long as 2 hours), an individual sport match is absurd that can last 2 hours.
When you've seen Federer for the 10,000th time, if you're not a sick fan, look at something else. And a two-hour Tiafoe match? Bahhh
 

mightyrick

Legend
There could be about ten points of suffering, one being the fact that tennis is individual sport.
But while people have more patience for a team sport (and therefore the duration can be as long as 2 hours), an individual sport match is absurd that can last 2 hours.
When you've seen Federer for the 10,000th time, if you're not a sick fan, look at something else. And a two-hour Tiafoe match? Bahhh
If tennis adopted something similar to the World Team Tennis layout and score structure, I think it could work. WTT events are actually fun to watch and get involved in. Quite honestly, I think team match play in Golf gets more exciting for everyone as opposed to individual play. Hell, even the announcers and golf geeks get into all of the analysis around team match play in golf. It adds a whole new level of depth and possibilities.

Tennis could still have the individual slams. The top WTT players could be seeded just like they are now. But all of these 125s/250s/500s/1000s... should all just be team tennis. A couple more team "Cup" tournaments could be added. I think it makes a lot of sense.
 

Robert F

Professional
I'm one of the oldies that likes long matches and feels tennis is a sport that relies on numerous physical and athletic domains. You need endurance, you need hand eye, you need foot speed, you need explosive power, you need touch, you need anaerobic power.

If you shorten tennis you could eliminate the endurance factor and increase wham/bam tennis.

I'd be afraid with a WTT format, guys are just playing one set? Maybe a second if they get into one of the doubles slot?
Seems too short.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Well, that’s all well and good, as you seem to be privy to the issue... I admittedly am not. Guess I’ll just do some research and find out more about these 10 arguments to which you refer, since you didn’t cite any one of them nor did you post a link.
14% of revenue is less than 1/3 of 50%... so just seems outta whack.
That's all well and good to ask but when the same discussion has been had about 20 times here alone it makes more sense that people just do some research using the search function at the top then offer opinions from a position of better understanding/knowledge.

Think about it though. What makes more sense (without any other knowledge):
- that everyone has lived with these 15%-ish levels have only now realised so much and decided to talk about it publicly?
- that Pospisil's predecessors were aware of and understood the difficulty in the issue and the risk of playing "...in basketball the split is..." type cards?

I wonder? Was everyone prior to Pospisil somehow so clueless they missed the blatantly obvious differences between how different sport competitions are arranged? Or, is he popping off with superficial arguments that ignore tons of salient details (which, when considered, void most of the comparisons) which his predecessors understood as being quite difficult to navigate around to find a fair/fairer approach?
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
The individual nature of tennis has been its greatest enemy. Tennis is not accessible enough as something like golf.
Worse than that, the individual nature of tennis tournaments is an even greater enemy.

Each tournament (with few exceptions) is self-financing, self-marketed and adopts all the risk of its event which uses the facilities for about 5% of the year yet they are typically responsible for all of the infrastructure improvements/costs.

Golf is wildly different in that all golf events are held at venues which are used year-round and financed almost entirely by the club membership so the per-tournament cost structure is comparatively far less, and they also get a bigger chunk of the media rights for events held at their venue - so there's not only comparatively lower costs, but also comparatively higher revenue.

When you take these considerations across to basketball the mechanics improve five-fold immediately. Venues get used 50 times a year, they get all of the benefits of repeat patronage (season tickets, inter-generational local market support for the local team regardless of which people are on the team), all of the endorsement revenue (team kit/associations), all of the merchandising revenue, collectively negotiated media revenue, and a fit-for-purpose venue which can be rented out for hundreds of other events each year.

All of this is quite unlike almost any tennis venue/event. The comparative inefficiency of standalone tennis tournaments, especially in the cost structure and adopted risk means tennis will never be able to get close to basketball-type revenue splits. Even if the prize money split was doubled to 25-28% most tournaments would go bust within a year.

Golf should not be the norm that tennis tries to follow and/or emulate.
Not least because golf's success is hinged to the sponsors which, if priorities changed even by 10%, would harm golf's popularity massively in no time. Golf, from a sponsor's point of view is mostly a junket for corporate partners/clients which keeps the facade of golf's popularity.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
The ATP Tour is an effective monopoly. For the jackpot, can you tell me what happens to market forces in a monopoly?

Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
Because without a #100 scrub (and the 900 or so players below him) you don't have a main draw for a Grand Slam - let alone a sustainable tour with a development path for the next top 100 players.
 

Spanglish72

Rookie
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
There are lots of scrubs sitting on benches of pro sports teams not generating any interest or revenue for their clubs, yet they still earn more than the #100 ranked pro tennis player in the world, because they have a player association that actually represents their interests and not just the owners.

Tennis is a scam run by the elites of the world, who use the players and spit them out when they're done with them.

Until players are receiving 50% of all tournament revenue they shouldn't play.

S T R I K E !
 

Spanglish72

Rookie
PLAYERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PLASTER THEIR SHIRTS WITH HUGE ENDORSEMENT LOGOS TO MAKE THEMSELVES SOME EXTRA CA$H.

These small 4" logos, just ain't cutting it for sponsors.
 
R

Robert Baratheon

Guest
What an utter *****, what was this about ?
Medvedev was caught up in a bizarre row during his second round match against Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans.

The match went to five sets, with Medvedev moving into a 2-0 lead. However, a series of controversial decisions saw the Russian lose his head, with Bemelmans breaking back and taking control.

An irate Medvedev asked the court supervisor for the umpire to be removed, only for his request to be declined. Bemelmans eventually won the match 6-4 6-2 3-6 2-6 6-3.


At the end of the match, Medvedev took out his wallet and started throwing coins at the bottom of the umpire’s chair, before storming away from the court.

When asked whether he was trying to insinuate that the umpire was bribed, Medvedev said: “I haven’t thought about it and that’s not the why I did it.


“I was disappointed with the result of the match. It was frustrating after a big win I had. All the match was not going well for me, so I was just very disappointed.

“In the heat of the moment, I did a bad thing. I apologise for this,” he added. “It was just that I was packing my things and I saw my wallet.”
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I’d rather the free market allocate the resources.
Why should a #100 scrub who generates little to no interest and revenue earn more!?
If you want that you give 80% of all revenue to Djoko, Nadal, Federer, 15% to top 50 players from interesting markets, 5% to other top 20 players, 0 to anyone else. Appart the players listed here nobody generate money.

Tennis dead within 2 years.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
If tennis players made more money, #100 ranked guys wouldn't be scrubs. It would attract better athletes to the sport.

You'd rather the revenue go in some fat businessman's bank account?
I don’t agree with that. Even today they earn too much to really have to try. When someone like Tomic can boast about his millions despite that little success, then money cannot be a reason to reach the absolute top anymore.

Money is the only important thing for way too many people, so if there is enough of it for a whole life, real success becomes irrelevant.

It isn’t better in football (soccer) these days. If the first big contract is signed, a player who only cares for money doesn’t need to do anything anymore.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
If tennis could figure out a way to use stadiums and not build their own, like the Miami tournament did, that would be big. Tennis stadiums cost a ton of money. Using an existing stadium for the main court and then using the parking lot for the outside courts worked in Miami and Atlanta does something similar. It would be interesting to see how much that costs vs stadiums.
 

Born Again

Rookie
Tennis is in its current position because these scrubs can't break through because of financial difficulties. When the top guys retire, tennis is going to be in a dire position because lots of potential stars didn't have the means to break through.
I disagree, scrubs get more than enough money and they dare to ask for more, LOL!
 

upchuck

Hall of Fame
Who is the high profile player that Pospisil says didn't want to boycott the Australian Open in 2012 along with everyone else?
 

Spanglish72

Rookie
If tennis could figure out a way to use stadiums and not build their own, like the Miami tournament did, that would be big. Tennis stadiums cost a ton of money. Using an existing stadium for the main court and then using the parking lot for the outside courts worked in Miami and Atlanta does something similar. It would be interesting to see how much that costs vs stadiums.
Most lower tier tourneys just set up temporary bleachers for the tourney, then tear them down afterwards. It's not that costly.

Why can't permanent tennis stadiums hold concerts in them year round to make more money?
 
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