Take money from doubles and give it to singles qualifiers, Challengers, suggests Marion Bartoli to help players outside top-100
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has recommended reducing the doubles events and give that money to lower-levels to bridge pay gap in tennis.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought tennis to a halt with livelihoods of many players affected. At the bottom end of the spectrum, players who are ranked in the lower echelons are finding it tougher to get by. A relief fund had been created for these lower-ranked professionals by the top-tier players and the respective tours. With no return date in mind, the challenge is to find a solution to make the sport fair for these players when things do improve.
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has a surprising solution to bridge this gap, where she has come out against doubles players, who already earn significantly lesser than their counterparts playing the singles format.
The Frenchwoman explained that diverting the money from doubles events to the Challengers, qualifiers, to name a few, would help the lower-ranked players. She suggested that doubles competition should only be held at the Olympics and Grand Slams.
“I don’t understand all these doubles competitions all year round. I understand during the Grand Slams and the Olympics because doubles is part of tennis history. But I see now, these doubles players, they have crews like six people around them,” Bartoli told Tennis Majors.
“They can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles. When I was a player, as a singles player, we couldn't afford to pay six people to travel with us full-time. They can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles!"
"Why don’t you get some of that money to qualifiers, to someone who plays only Challengers? I just don’t understand because, in doubles, you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player. You don’t practice as much….they keep going, week in and week out, getting that money. I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely, but to get less money and give that money to qualification and others, that should be a solution,” she concluded.
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