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View Full Version : Top players get too big a slice of the cake?


arcus
Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:01 PM
Does anyone think that the prize money on tour should be a little more evenly distributed?

I mean the top players make an absolute fortune in prize money while the lower ranked players can barely pay their expenses. Its an expensive life with coaches, trainers sararies as well as travelling and accomodation etc.

I know the top players are selling most of the seats and coverage, but they also make a lot on endorsements, so they could afford to earn a lil' less in actual proze money, IMO. Also, a few top few players get pretty much ALL the TV coverage, especially in the US that the lower ranked players rarely get enough exposure to get sponsors interested.

I dont mean real even, or so much for the low ranked players that they wouldnt he hungry for more success, but a more reasonable amount..

Dava
Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:03 PM
I think more money shuld be put into the sport for the lesser players now. Yes its great that the players get that load of mnoey for winning a slam, but what about those who travel arounf the world playing challengers on a shoe string budget. A lot more money should be given to qualifiers and players who go out in the early rounds of events, ESPECIALLY slams.

Steveg
Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:24 PM
Another subject is about pension funds and welfare in general. It gets tougher and tougher to be a full member (WTA pension funds). Before both ITF and WTA prize money were taken into account (for both associate and full members). Then only WTA prize money (both full and associate). And the amount keeps going up for full members : $45K this year, $40K previously, $35K the year before.

I believe it gets more and more difficult for lower ranked players to get a decent insurange coverage and a good retirement plan :sad: . They have to think of their life after their player professional career. The present system does not help them much in that respect :( .

Stefwhit
Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:47 PM
I'm in favor of the players in the earlier rounds definitely getting more money, but I'm not too crazy about cutting the salaries of the top players to acheive this. I'm sure there is a lot of money flowing into tournaments, namely the Slams and larger ones, to increase the pot without taking from the winners check. In the realm of "women in sports", comparitively speaking, I think that it's somewhat of an honor for the leading money earners to largely come from the world of tennis. Keep in mind that a man on the ATP winning the same amount of tournaments Kim or Justine won last year would have made significantly more money. The top players of any professional sport will get paid large amounts of money- sports are lucrative that's old news. The WTA sholdn't be any different and there top stars should get paid like the top stars in all other sports. In comparison to atheletes of other sports and what the top player of each sport makes, the amount that the top women make isn't really that impressive.

I think another idea might be for the WTA to step up and help out in reducing the costs associated with being on tour. Or maybe applying some tax like system (membership fees or something,) that taxes more heavily the players who make more money and then use those funds to help cut cost on tour associated with traveling. The WTA needs people who can come up with different ideas, maybe even a totally brand new approach to a whole slew of problems ranging from the cost of retirement packages, welfare assistance to former players, cost associated with travel, and ways to cut cost for young players to get into the sport...

CanadianBoy21
Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:56 PM
I agree with you. But not a drastic increase.

In the Grand Slams, the player who lost gets A LOT OF MONEY.
Of course, the player has to play for flights, etc... so they end up in deficits.

I always wondered, how much do grand slams pay for the players, accomodation, flight?????
I don't think they do, but someone correct me on this.

Wendy Turnball
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:06 PM
Top players get too big a slice of the cake?

You can never have enough cake....

Volcana
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:13 PM
I know the top players are selling most of the seats and coverage, but they also make a lot on endorsements, so they could afford to earn a lil' less in actual proze money, IMO.
There is a VAST disparity in endorsement money among the top players. First, take the Williams sisters out of it. They're off the charts. Do you think Anastasia Myskina gets the appearance fees Jenn Capriati does? Are they painting Elena Dementieva all over the side of a building the way they did Amelie?

Also, a few top few players get pretty much ALL the TV coverage, especially in the US that the lower ranked players rarely get enough exposure to get sponsors interested.
So get in the finals vs one of those 'top few' players. Or a semi vs one of the Williams sisters. The better lower ranked players are getting more exposure. Kuznetsova has played in two finals this year already. Zvonareva just spent a couple hours splashed on TV screens all over the world. Petrova did the same a few weeks back. That time on TV is probably worth more than top prize money, used correctly.

Stefwhit
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:15 PM
You can never have enough cake....
Agreed! When you start talkin' bout cutting the prize checks of the top players I think that's just taking steps backwards, no matter the intent. bigger purses all around is a better idea- cut the cost from somewhere else...

VRULES
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:16 PM
I am sorry, but if A player wins Wimbledon and get 1 millions, the person who lost first round doesn't derserve to get anything above 10,000. You get what you earn. Look when Venus and Cappy won the big tournies (mostly Venus), Vee had 2.6 million, and Capster had like 2.2, so it was even for the big winners. If you can produce the wins why get the money for it. YOu would be taking away from the ones who earned it.

VRULES
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:18 PM
I agree with you. But not a drastic increase.

In the Grand Slams, the player who lost gets A LOT OF MONEY.
Of course, the player has to play for flights, etc... so they end up in deficits.

I always wondered, how much do grand slams pay for the players, accomodation, flight?????
I don't think they do, but someone correct me on this.

Tournements won't pay for it, unless they really want you to come, and then they will pay for travel and accomidation, it is a way to give women apperance fees since it is against the rule. The Oklahoma City tourny did that for Monica Seles in 2000, after Venus pulled out.

Virginia Wade
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:24 PM
Top players get too big a slice of the cake?
I make excellent Victoria Sponge cake. Ask Billie Jean.

sartrista7
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:40 PM
So get in the finals vs one of those 'top few' players. Or a semi vs one of the Williams sisters. The better lower ranked players are getting more exposure. Kuznetsova has played in two finals this year already. Zvonareva just spent a couple hours splashed on TV screens all over the world. Petrova did the same a few weeks back. That time on TV is probably worth more than top prize money, used correctly.

Sveta, Vera and Nadia haven't been low-ranked players for quite some time... if you're in the top 50, you're making a very good living, especially with doubles factored in. The players arcus is talking about aren't the ones playing the proper WTA Tour full time - they're the ones in the Challengers scraping the pennies together just to pay tournament entry fees. Because unless you're a hyped-up junior, it's very very tough to even get to play on Tour. If your national federation overlooks you... or if it has no money... or if you come from a country with not many sponsorship options... or if your country has no home tournaments to give you WCs to... it's a miracle of achievement if you get in the top 100. If you can't afford a coach, it's up to you to work on every aspect of your game yourself. If you can't afford to travel, you don't get to improve through match play. You talk about the pressure on Kim, or Justine, or Venus and Serena (neither of whom ever had to play a Challenger - they got life on Tour handed to them on a plate)... imagine the pressure of knowing that you have to win a match to pay your hotel bill that week. Or to eat. And then imagine what injuries do to your financial situation.

The majority of retirements from pro tennis don't take place around the age of 30... it's mostly before the age of 20, from the hundreds of girls who can't afford it any more. And it's not just no-talent scrubs who have to do this... it's rare that a player is anywhere near her peak by 20, or even shows her full potential. If they'd been given the same opportunities as, say, the Williams sisters... all that top-flight coaching, all those wild cards, all those endorsements before they'd even played a pro match... who knows what they could have become?

Stefwhit
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:56 PM
... You talk about the pressure on Kim, or Justine, or Venus and Serena (neither of whom ever had to play a Challenger - they got life on Tour handed to them on a plate)... imagine the pressure of knowing that you have to win a match to pay your hotel bill that week. Or to eat. And then imagine what injuries do to your financial situation.

The majority of retirements from pro tennis don't take place around the age of 30... it's mostly before the age of 20, from the hundreds of girls who can't afford it any more. And it's not just no-talent scrubs who have to do this... it's rare that a player is anywhere near her peak by 20, or even shows her full potential. If they'd been given the same opportunities as, say, the Williams sisters... all that top-flight coaching, all those wild cards, all those endorsements before they'd even played a pro match... who knows what they could have become?
In a perfect world no one would have any problems, but oh well.... Justine's mother died, Vee and Serena didn't grow up in Beverly Hills, Jelena Dokic, JCap, and Mary Peirce had to overcome obstacles in their home lives to make it- yet they all somehow found away to make it work (and yeah, of course they had help, to be a pro tennis player you need help and even the "lowely" players have someone helping them, if not they wouldn't be playing- they couldn't....) The bottom line is that most of the time the real talent finds it's way to the top, the creame of the crop always rises to the top- if a young player coming up is really showing signs of a future champ someone usually notices if not, then tennis might not be the best sport to get into. I think if you make the chose to be a professional tennis player to make a living, then you do so knowing the risks. I don't neccessarily feel it's anyone's responsibility- you gotta show first that you're worthy of the help...

Overall I do think more money should be poured back into the sport to help out with all sorts of things. And i like the idea of increasing the winning for the earlier rounds, but I'm still opposed to cutting the salaries of the top players to do any of this...

sartrista7
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:04 AM
The bottom line is that most of the time the real talent finds it's way to the top, the creame of the crop always rises to the top- if a young player coming up is really showing signs of a future champ someone usually notices if not, then tennis might not be the best sport to get into.

Oh, I agree that the future champions will find their way to the top. If you've got it in you to even be a threat to win a Slam... you will probably get there. But you don't have to be a champion to have a worthwhile tennis career... just being a solid top 50 player is respectable, and doesn't pay badly. And it's THAT level of talent which might not get spotted, and which might fall by the wayside.

arcus
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:18 AM
I guess I'm thinking of ways to take the pressure off the low ranked players who are giving it a go on tour.......... Seems rough when No. 1 player might be making 20 million dollars in a year, while the No. 152 might not break 50 thou.

Maybe some kind of subsidy/scholarship for young players the first few years on the pro tour. Take a little of the heat off for a few years, allow the players to develop without the enormous financial stress. If they aren't showing any results then the support automatically tapers off.

Maybe have some kind of system making it easier for players in college to compete in the challengers while getting a degree, so at least they can be giving the tour a try and getting a backup education at the same time, in case things dont work out.
Like making a portion of the of the NCAA season say something like 8 months on tour. Like every college sponsors a team of a few players to play a certain No. of events, they travel together, share expenses, a couch, and the college gets points for how well they do......... That kind of travelling-buddies system works well for some nations, why not college players?

darrinbaker00
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:19 AM
If the lower-ranked players are having trouble making it, they have two choices: get better or get out. The top players started out at the bottom and played their way up; they earned what they have. If you want to make Venus/Serena/Kim/Justine money, then you need to put up Venus/Serena/Kim/Justine results on the court. ;)

arcus
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:24 AM
Im not talking about making low ranked players earn the same as top players. There can only a few top players, and good luck to them for being that good.

I'm talking about THE MAJOROITY of tennis pros, who never make it into the top 30. Give them a bit of a break..........

Stefwhit
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:27 AM
How much of a break does a top 30 player need, it's my understanding that a top 30/50 player makes pretty good money- even after their expenses, is this not true? How much money has someone like an Amy Frazier or Likhotseva made playing tennis?

arcus
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:32 AM
How much of a break does a top 30 player need, it's my understanding that a top 30/50 player makes pretty good money- even after their expenses, is this not true? How much money has someone like an Amy Frazier or Likhotseva made playing tennis?

Agreed, players around the top 30 do good, (though not quite so good as you think considering that they have a very short career).

I meant that these are players who might never reach that level at any time in their career, and will spend most if it way below that till the cash runs out and they have to retire, like one of the posters said, sometimes way before they may ahve reached their potential.

MY thread though is really about the players in the 150 and below bracket.

darrinbaker00
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:35 AM
Im not talking about making low ranked players earn the same as top players. There can only a few top players, and good luck to them for being that good.

I'm talking about THE MAJOROITY of tennis pros, who never make it into the top 30. Give them a bit of a break..........
They work for themselves and set their own schedules; how much more of a break do they need? The low pay for losing early should be incentive for them to get better. If they're not good enough to support themselves, then they should find a new line of work. I'm sorry, but I can't sympathize with them.