STARNBERG, April 26, 2020
Dominic Thiem has controversially criticized plans of supporting lower-ranked players amidst the coronavirus crisis. The 26-year-old Austrian does not like the idea of donating nine million US dollars to tennis professionals with a ranking between World No. 250 and 700.
Last week, 17-times Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic called on the tennis world to contribute to a relief fund for players struggling financially during the COVID-19 shutdown and to show lower-ranked pros that they have not been forgotten.
“None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour, who do not commit to the sport 100 per cent. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see, why I should give them money,” Thiem said in an video-chat with Austria’s largest newspaper “Krone”, translated by journalist Lukas Zahrer on Twitter. The finalist at this year’s Australian Open clinched five Futures titles on the ITF Pro Circuit in the time between 2012 and 2013.
Indeed, the world of tennis provides all kind of strange records, statistics and achievements. One example was the so-called Golden Match taken by Krittin Koaykul of Thailand, who won all 48 points to topple unranked Artem Bahmet from the Ukraine 6-0, 6-0 in 22 minutes in the first round of the qualifying at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Doha last December.
Dominic Thiem on a relief fund for lower-ranked players: “None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100 %. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see, why I should give them money.”
— Lukas Zahrer (@ZahrerLukas) April 26, 2020
“I would rather donate to people and institutions, who really need it. There is no profession in the world, where you are guaranteed success and high income at the start of your career. None of the top players took anything for granted. We all had to fight our way up the rankings,” Thiem added.
Thiem is currently ranked World No. 3 and earned a career prize money of $23,873,943.