ATP is a broken system, says John Isner

John Isner believes ATP is a broken system as players' prize money is reduced while executives get a full pay

John Isner believes ATP is a broken system

After Miami Open announced reduced prize money for this year’s edition, American pro John Isner has slammed the ATP Tour calling it a ‘broken system’.

The Miami Open, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, will be played from March 22 to April 4 in 2021.

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But the Masters tournament has slashed the prize money considerably. While the total prize money is cut by 60 per cent, the champion’s purse is down by almost 80 per cent as compared to 2019.

“ATP is a broken system,” John Isner tweeted.

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“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.”

The 35-year-old compared tennis to some of the big league sports in the USA – NBA, MLB and NHL – and their revenue models.

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“Tennis is run like an intramural sport,” he continued. “Not comparing revenue/popularity to those sports but take a peek at their structure, talent representation, and percentage of revenue models. Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency.”

Last year, Isner was one of the player who resigned from the ATP Player Council and was one of the first members of the Professional Tennis Players’ Association.

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The rebel body, founded by World No 1 Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil, has maintained that they came into existence to give players more representation on the big stage. The ATP, meanwhile, belong 50 per cent to the players and 50 per cent to the tournaments.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?” the American added.

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Isner did not play the recent Australian Open because of the strict quarantine rules.