Rafael Nadal has thrown further backing behind Novak Djokovic’s plans for top tennis players to financially support those lower down the rankings – and not just during a pandemic.
Djokovic proposed a weighted fund, with the top ATP players in the world contributing. The higher you are up the rankings, the more you pay in.
That money would then be distributed to lower ranked players who are less able to secure lucrative sponsorship deals and big prize money payouts.
It is a system that has attracted a great deal of support, although current world number three Dominic Thiem has been very vocal in his criticisms of it.
Nadal, however, hopes that the scheme continues even after the current coronavirus pandemic eases.
“Different measures have been taken, and one of them is to create a fund for the one hundred best players in the world to contribute an amount of money to help the rest of the players, who are having a hard time and are experiencing difficult situations,” Nadal explained.
“This fund is to help the world of tennis in general, not just players.
“In difficult times you are forced to think about the one who are worse than you.”
Thiem caused controversy when he spoke out against the proposals in April, and he has refused to back down since.
“None of the players are starving. [The top players] all had to fight our way up the rankings,” said Thiem, who has won over $23million in prize money during his career.
“I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour who don’t 100 percent commit to the sport. Many are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money.”