MUMBAI • Holding Grand Slams in pricey bio-bubbles is probably not sustainable for a second season regardless of the monetary edge these main tennis tournaments get pleasure from over different occasions, ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi has instructed Reuters.
The game’s large 4 tournaments haven’t been resistant to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Wimbledon cancelled final yr for the primary time since World Battle II and the newest editions of the opposite three held in bio-secure environments.
“Most of them run a federation as nicely so that they’re additionally accountable for tennis growth all through the nation,” Gaudenzi, the chairman of the lads’s tour, mentioned not too long ago. “I believe a yr is sustainable however two years in a row for the Grand Slams, or three, is unquestionably going to be an issue … additionally they want some oxygen, completely.”
Regardless of no ticket gross sales and a managed well being atmosphere, the US Open was nonetheless capable of pay nearly 95 per cent of its prize cash from 2019, whereas the minimize for the delayed French Open final yr was restricted to 11 per cent.
This yr’s opening Grand Slam in Melbourne provided the identical prize cash because the yr earlier than, however organisers have warned which may not be the case in 2022.
“It is an especially difficult state of affairs additionally for them,” Gaudenzi added. “However clearly the Grand Slams are greater, and clearly while you’re greater, you will have broader shoulders.
“And it is a completely different economics. The 4 Grand Slams account for round 60 per cent of your complete quantity of enterprise for the tennis trade.
“They took a success, however they’ve completely different economics. They’ve been able to delivering 100 per cent prize cash as a result of they clearly have completely different revenue margins than our tournaments.”
Australian Open organisers ferried 1,200 individuals on 17 flights from eight international locations and organized 14 days of quarantine for all of them in January however it got here at a price. Tennis Australia exhausted money reserves of A$80 million (S$83.2 million) and took a mortgage to tide it over till subsequent yr’s occasion.
Gaudenzi mentioned the centralised bubble formulation, primarily based on the mannequin which allowed the 2019-20 season of America’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation to be accomplished, had been examined as an choice for wider use in tennis.
However he identified that “it might clear up the journey downside … however you’ll not clear up the monetary downside in our case”.
“Truly (it) will likely be worse, so that you lose more cash by doing that,” he added.
“Broadcast and media will renegotiate since you’re transferring the occasion to a unique time zone… Ticketing, sponsorship and broadcast, (we have to) utterly rebuild the platform from a income standpoint.”
World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov has warned that occasions this yr will proceed to endure excessive withdrawal charges due to the lower in prize cash.
The 21-year-old mentioned many of the older prime gamers “do not have a purpose to go” to non-Grand Slam tournaments and that many extra would skip occasions in the event that they weren’t contractually obliged to compete by their sponsors.
Subsequent week’s Masters 1000 occasion in Miami has been hit by high-profile withdrawals, together with Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.
The overall prize cash on the Miami Open this yr has gone down from US$16.7 million in 2019 to US$6.68 million. The occasion was one of many first cancelled final season due to the pandemic.
A singles champion in Dubai this week will make US$149,490 in comparison with the US$565,705 Novak Djokovic earned for lifting the trophy final yr.
“There are going to be numerous withdrawals and lots of people not going to tournaments as a result of the prize cash is low,” mentioned Shapovalov, who superior to the semi-finals in Dubai on Thursday.
“In a manner, it isn’t motivating to play each week and play all the large tournaments as a result of there’s probably not lots in it for us aside from the Slams at this level which are paying simply as a lot or higher, like in Australia this yr…
“Hopefully the ATP or somebody can do one thing to enhance the prize cash and convey it again to what it was, however it’s what it’s proper now.”
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE