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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe someone else posted about this but I thought there should be a thread on this anyway, as I saw this story in the Guardian a few days ago and I did not see anyone else bring it up.

World no 371 Sofia Shapatava of Georgia has started a petition to get support for low-ranked players who have no savings, no way to make an income with tournaments and tennis clubs closed.

Article here:

Petition here (if you want to sign it):
 

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I signed it a couple of days ago.
 

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The reaction from the ITF and ATP?

It is understood the ITF will discuss the issue as a matter of urgency, while the ATP chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, said: “Our ability to address any supportive measures will be best guided once we know the duration of the crisis and when the Tour will resume.”

It's nice that he's made a statement, but it's pretty much waffle because there's no way of knowing how long this will last - and those players need help NOW, not in two or three or six months' time.

On the other hand, we see the reaction from the WTA.

Uh....reaction? Is there something we need to react to?

Total silence.

Shame on you.
 

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Lol, I was like, "WTF" at first. I thought you were talking about Sloane Stephens! I was thinking, "Sis is paid, and has a rich man. She's good." My bad.
The beautiful Signature girl with the whitest teeth on tour also has her endorsements money. Long live Queen Sloane.
 

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Petition needs to be updated.

It's not enough to name ITF/ATP/WTA.

The 4 Grand Slams are also tennis authorities with special powers in the sport (which helps them make money).

So they need to be added
 

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Petition needs to be updated.

It's not enough to name ITF/ATP/WTA.

The 4 Grand Slams are also tennis authorities with special powers in the sport (which helps them make money).

So they need to be added
If RG doesn't go ahead FFT will be in a disastrous position with massive debt so I doubt they'll be helping anyone out.
 

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The reaction from the ITF and ATP?

It is understood the ITF will discuss the issue as a matter of urgency, while the ATP chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, said: “Our ability to address any supportive measures will be best guided once we know the duration of the crisis and when the Tour will resume.”

It's nice that he's made a statement, but it's pretty much waffle because there's no way of knowing how long this will last - and those players need help NOW, not in two or three or six months' time.

On the other hand, we see the reaction from the WTA.

Uh....reaction? Is there something we need to react to?

Total silence.

Shame on you.
The WTA said they are not able to help players


"We wish there was a way everyone, especially those in need the most, could be compensated at the level they were expecting, but the needs are so great and the WTA unfortunately is not in a financial position to do that," the WTA said.




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If RG doesn't go ahead FFT will be in a disastrous position with massive debt so I doubt they'll be helping anyone out.
FFT said they will lose 260 million euro if the tournament is not played


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The WTA doesnt have a huge reserve of funds to help out now. They have to look at their own survival if this goes all year. USTA has money, they could probably sponsor some 125Ks in the US to help, but they would probably limit that to US players
 

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do tennis players qualify for unemployment ???
 

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Maybe they could apply to help from their own goverments, in the same way self-employed people are doing? I mean, tennis players basically are self-employed..I guess...

It would be great if the ITF/ATP/WTA could help players out. Of course, they couldn't help all lower ranked players, but perhaps the players who are unable to seek funding from their governements. I feel like the LTA probably could help lower ranked British players out, but probably won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It will be interesting to see how this affects the resumption of the tour when this happens. Lower ranked players in particular are not only likely to be out of shape and out of pocket, I am guessing many will be forced to retire or work in some other job to raise some money to resume the tour. Britain is crying out for agricultural workers from next month, because we do not have enough home grown ones to pick our fruit and vegetables.

For instance, if the tour resumes in the winter with the pre-Australian season, how many players ranked outside the top 100 will have the money to fly out etc to Australia from Europe, Asia or the Americas, when they have not earned anything for almost a year? I am guessing the entry lists for many tournaments will be very patchy as players can only start to resume the tour once it comes to their home continent or country or somewhere reasonably cheap for them to travel to.

I think the ATP, ITF, WTA and slams should at least offer some sort of help to players outside the top 100 to relaunch their careers and their training once the lockdowns stop, training can start and the tour can start to be organised again (though I am guessing this will not resume properly until 2-3 months after the virus subsides just because of tournament organisation, entry lists, ticket sales etc).
 

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do tennis players qualify for unemployment ???
At least in the US, they normally would not because they're considered independent contractors and don't pay employment taxes. But because of the coronavirus, new bills have been passed so that independent contractors whose work is impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for unemployment. They can also qualify for smaller loans (up to $10,000) that may not even need to be repaid if the money is being used for rent/mortgage or business expenses.
 

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The WTA said they are not able to help players


"We wish there was a way everyone, especially those in need the most, could be compensated at the level they were expecting, but the needs are so great and the WTA unfortunately is not in a financial position to do that," the WTA said.


It's all very well being quoted that way (and I think someone else had posted that link earlier in another thread), but there is absolutely nothing on the WTA website (unlike the ATP). This, to me, is a major enough issue that it should be highlighted in their News section and on the front page, yet there's no reference there at all - nor is there any reference to Shapatava and her petition.

Also, this is what Steve Simon had to say when the decision was taken to extend the shut-down period:

“This was a decision that the WTA and its members did not take lightly, however we remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of our players, staff and fans,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “While we share in the disappointment of the season’s further postponement, our priority remains to support each other during this unprecedented time and work together as a sport in preparation of our return to play.”

I think the WTA spokesperson (presumably NOT Steve Simon, as he would surely have been named) in the New York Times article is being as disingenuous as Pavlyuchenkova. These players aren't after compensation "at the level they were expecting." They're after some sort of support so that they can literally survive. That's a big difference.

Steve Simon promised that the WTA would "protect the health and safety of our players" and "support each other." It would be nice if they did something practical as a measure of that support.
 
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