- 25 Mar 2021
Also read: John Isner calls ATP a “broken system”
Also read: Miami Open prize money slashed
The top-ranked American didn’t avoid the question when a reporter asked him to clarify his views on the prize money decrease at the 2021 Miami Open, which had led to his five-tweet rant last month after Tennis Majors leaked the information.
ATP is a broken system. Players and tournaments as ‘partners’ need to work together, but 60% cut and 80% champions cut in one of our biggest events that has TV, Data, sponsorship, and newly approved gambling revenue intact, isn’t a partnership at all. 1/5 https://t.co/MmrZjCtpOW
— John Isner (@JohnIsner) February 24, 2021
Money is not the main problem, Isner told reporters on Wednesday in Miami. Instead, he says that decision-making is his biggest frustration.
“It’s really not the about the prize money. It’s about the system. I think my tweet that you’re referring to, I was referring to, not so much about the prize money, but 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.”
Top players taking a big hit
In his tweetstorm, dated February 24, Isner called for an independent audit allowing the players to pinpoint exactly how hard COVID has impacted tournament revenues and budget structure. He expressed a similar desire today in Miami.
“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. There’s just a little bit of uncertainty about how those numbers came into play, why the prize money is what it is.”
Here is the detail of 2021 prize money, which is 60 percent less on average than in 2019, and 80 percent less for the champions.
“The top players in our game have taken a big hit as far as the prize money is concerned recently.
Look, there’s always going to be some things that players are unhappy about. 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.”
The ATP circulated a document at the beginning of the month bringing to light some of the details of their pandemic-related financial struggles. Tennis Majors shared the main facts with you. Above all, Isner says, he’s happy to be competing on home soil.
“But there’s a lot worse things going on out there in the world. Of course, we would prefer to be playing for a bigger purse. But look, we’re all here to play and to compete, and we’re happy to be here.”
John Isner, seed No 18 and a previous winner of the tournament (2018), will face Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.