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'Could Grand Slam millions be used better?' - Andy Murray

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14:11 23 Apr 2020

Former world number one Andy Murray thinks that the distribution of prize money in tennis needs to be looked at in order to help lower ranked players.

Almost 2,500 people have signed a petition started by Georgian player Sofia Shapatava who is calling for struggling players to be given help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Professional tennis was suspended last month and will not resume until at least June 7 which leaves players like Shapatava, ranked 371 in the world, without any income and struggling to make ends meet.

In an interview with CNN, Murray admitted that the "top 60-70 in the world will be fine" but he is aware of the problems facing players that are lower down the tennis food chain.

"Players ranked 250-300 in the world, it's going to be really, really challenging for them," said Murray, who is currently ranked 129.

"And I think in the last few years, there has been some improvements and some changes, but probably not enough.

"Sometimes you see the prize money check for the winner of the grand slams and it's like, I don't know what it is exactly, but something like $4 million.

"And could that money be used better and spent elsewhere in the earlier rounds or the qualifying draws or maybe used to grow some of the smaller events?"

Meanwhile another former world number one, Roger Federer, has suggested that the governing bodies that run the men's and women's tours should merge.

The men's tour is run by the Association of Tennis Professionals which was established in 1972.

The Women's Tennis Association has been running the women's game since 1973.

Federer revealed his thoughts on the merger last night: "Just wondering…..am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one?," he tweeted.

The Swiss replied to one follower who suggested that having two separate bodies in charge of the sport was confusing and unnecessary.

"I agree with you," he replied. "It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories."

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ATP Andy Murray Roger Federer Sofia Shapatava WTA

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