Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

Dominic Thiem says struggling tennis players don't deserve his hard-won money

In an interview with Austria's Krone newspaper, Austrian Thiem said no players 'are going to starve' during shutdown

Dominic Thiem is opposed to the ideea of tennis' top players aiding lower-ranked players financially. AFP
Dominic Thiem is opposed to the ideea of tennis' top players aiding lower-ranked players financially. AFP

World No 3 Dominic Thiem has poured cold water on the idea of setting up a fund to help lower-ranked players struggling because of the coronavirus shutdown.

The idea first came to light last week with world No 1 Novak Djokovic saying he was working with his two great rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, to organise aid for players struggling with the paralysis of the game, with tennis suspended since last month.

In an interview with Austria's Krone newspaper, Austrian Thiem said no players "are going to starve" and asked why he should be forced to give up his hard-earned money to those who don't show the same dedication as himself to the sport.

"Quite honestly I have to say that no tennis player will be fighting to survive, even those who are much lower-ranked," Thiem said.

The three-time Grand Slam finalist said that his experience competing on the sport's Futures circuit had shown him that there are "many, many players who don't put the sport above everything else and don't live in a professional manner."

"I wouldn't really see why I should give such players money ... I would rather give money to people or organisations that really need it," he added.

The plan proposed by Djokovic would involve raising as much as $4.5 million (Dh16.5m), with the cash coming from the prize money for the season-ending World Tour Finals or the final bonus pools for top players.

"None of us top players got anything handed to us, we all had to fight our way up," Thiem said.

"I don't have the guarantee in any job that I will do well and earn lots of money, that's my opinion on the matter."

Updated: April 26, 2020 10:20 PM

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