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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 24, 2021

 
John Isner

John Isner isn't taking as harsh of a stance against the ATP Tour as he was last week. He talked about prize money issues on Wednesday in Miami.

Photo Source: AP

John Isner called the ATP a broken system last month, as he voiced his frustration about what he perceived to be an unfounded drop in prize money for top players on the ATP Tour.

Tennis Express


On Wednesday in Miami the American elaborated on his comments and hinted that he is pleased with a new level of transparency coming from the tour.

Isner says that his frustration has stemmed from not really understanding why the reductions in prize money were happening.

“It's really not the about the prize money,” he said. “It's about the system. I think my tweet that you're referring to, that's what I was referring to, not so much about the prize money. It's about the system of the ATP and why the decisions are made and what goes into the prize money being so low. It's not about the actual prize money itself.”

Isner says he understands the loss of ticketing revenue is hurting the tour, and its ability to lift prize money payouts, but he isn’t clear on the actual numbers. And he’s not alone.

“As I mentioned earlier, of course, we would like to be playing for more, but we understand with the loss of ticketing revenue, our purses are going to go down,” he said. “But there are some players that have questions about why it was down so much. The tour has implemented a strategy that is keeping the lower rounds pretty similar. The prize money in the quarters, semis and finals, has been chopped quite a bit. The top players in our game have taken a big hit as far as the prize money is concerned recently.”


There had been rumors that players were planning to make some type of a statement in unity against the perceived unfairness, but nothing has materialized this week in Miami.

UPDATE: Vasek Pospisil launched into a tirade against the "Chair of the ATP" during his match on Wednesday, comments apparently directed at ATP CEO Andrea Gaudenzi, after a meeting on Tuesday rattled him.

“There’s always going to be some things that players are unhappy about,” Isner said. “I do think recently the players have felt like the tour has been more transparent with them. We're trying to understand the process a bit more.”

Many top players are absent from the main draw in Miami this week, but money may not be the only reason. With Indian Wells having been postponed this year, top players to fly back over from Europe for just one event was always going to be a big ask.

“I guess it's a big commitment to come over here for just one tournament, then immediately to go back over to Europe,” Isner said. “For the older guys, the three I mentioned, the three greatest players we've ever seen, probably doesn't make sense for them. That's probably because there's no Indian Wells before this event. The calendar has taken a big hit has well. We know that. I think the main reason why players aren't here is because this is just a standalone event. It's not necessarily about the prize money. It's just more of a scheduling conflict.”

 

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