While the novel Coronavirus pandemic has brought world sports to a complete halt, and it has led to the upcoming and struggling sportspersons taking a toll. In tennis, its the low ranking players that are suffering the most. While the ‘Big Three’ of tennis- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic decided to join hands together for aiding the struggling players, Dominic Thiem is skeptical about the endeavour.
Last week, Djokovic announced that he would team up with Federer and Nadal with an aim of raising between $3 million to $4.5 milion for the lower ranked tennis players.
The fundraiser, with the help of the season-ending World Tour Finals prize money and the bonus pools for the high ranking stars, is planned to aid players ranked between 200-250, and 700-1000, as they don’t have sponsorship support and are now dragging themselves in the COVID-19 crisis.
However, Thiem believes none of the low-ranking players will actually go without food or struggle for their lives in the lock down.
“Quite honestly I have to say that no tennis player will be fighting to survive, even those who are much lower-ranked. None of them are going to starve,” Austrian said in a recent interview.
The world no. 3 also stated his lack of willingness to donate to players that he has seen who “don’t put the sport above everything else and don’t live in a professional manner.”
He continued: “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.”
The 16 times singles champion reached three Grand Slam finals, with his most recent loss being against Djokovic in the final of the 2020 Australian Open.
Reaching his career-highest rank back in March, Thiem is also the second highest ranked player from Australia, and stated that his struggle to success was without any assistance.
“None of us top players got anything handed to us, we all had to fight our way up,” the the 26 year old added.
Tennis Sportwalk made a post on Instagram regarding Thiem’s comments, which generated a reaction from Aussie tennis ace Nick Kyrgios.
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🗣️ Dominic Thiem ignites the debate about better distribution of wealth among players. (Via @kronen.zeitung) . . . . . 📸 Getty | #dominicthiem #thiem #bamos #domithiem #zverev #novakdjokovic #djokovic #tsitsipas #rafaelnadal #rafanadal #rogerfederer #federer #atp #atpworldtour #atptennis #atptour #tenis #tennis #Sportwalk
“He still doesn’t understand the point. We at the top get paid far too much and there is not enough to go around, it’s about helping where we can, professional or unprofessional, put yourself in their shoes,” Kyrgios commented on the post.
More than 3,000,000 people all over the world have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, and 218,013 people have died.