German player Alexander Zverev has criticized the men’s tennis governing body, the ATP, for only focusing on their finances rather than listening to players’ voice.
Zverev, who won the Acapulco ATP last week, is not too pleased with the restrictions put in place for the Miami Open. The Masters 1000 tournament will take place in a bubble and spectators won’t be allowed on outside courts.
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“They only focus on keeping the finances in order. The opinions of players are not their priority. It’s a shame because ATP should be there for the players,” the 23-year-old said in an interview.
“In Miami we are in a bubble. In the Rotterdam event we had no contact with outside world.”
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A number of top names have withdrawn from the Miami Open, which has reduced its prize purse by more than 50 per cent.
The Big 3 in men’s tennis – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic—are giving the Masters event a miss. On the women’s side, Serena Williams is the biggest name missing from the draw.
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Even though numbers are on the decline in Florida, the Miami Beach is overfull at this time of the year because of the number of spring breakers visiting it.
Authorities in Miami Beach imposed a state of emergency and a curfew on Saturday to reduce the chances of it becoming another virus super-spreader.
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Crowd capacity is being strictly limited with most courts having no fans at all, and main courts only hosting a maximum of around 1000 spectators per session.
Daniil Medvedev is the top seed in the men’s draw at the tournament, while Stefanos Tsitsipas is second and Zverev third.
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Tsitsipas, who lost the final to Zverev in Acapulco, has also set ‘low expectations’ for himself due to the bubble restrictions.
“It has other restrictions and it will operate entirely on its own and with a different system,” the Greek star explained.
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“I like playing there but without fans, it’s going to be really different and some other things that will be happening, as well, that I heard, I guess that also explains the absence of players. I don’t want to say more and comment more on that, but in a way, I’m not surprised.”