Dominic Thiem has blasted the suggestion that he should donate to a fund to help out lower ranked players who are struggling to make ends meet because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With tournaments either cancelled or postponed, those players ranked outside the top 100 are struggling financially as they depend on prize money.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been speaking frequently about how they can set up a fund to help out.
The Madrid Open is hosting a virtual event where the winner is encouraged to donate some of their £132,000 earnings to the cause.
But three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem does not think he should have to chip in.
“None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives,” Thiem told Austria’s Krone Sport.
“I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100 per cent. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see, why I should give them money.
“I’d rather donate to people and institutions, who really need it.
“There is no profession in the world, where you are guaranteed success and high income at the start of your career.
“None of the top players took anything for granted. We all had to fight our way up the rankings.”
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The ‘Big Three’ have been very active in their WhatsApp group while they have been placed in lockdown.
Suggestions have been floated about of different ways they can help those further down the ladder.
Djokovic explained earlier this week: “I spoke to Roger and Rafa a few days ago and we had a conversation about the near future of tennis. How we can contribute to help lower ranked guys who are obviously struggling the most,” Djokovic said.
“A majority of players ranked between 250 to 700 or 1,000 don’t have federation support or sponsors and are independent and left alone.
“Players hopefully will (also) contribute collectively to the relief fund that the ATP (and others) will distribute using models and criteria.
“You want to avoid giving money to player who fits into this category (low ranking) but does not need the money compared to someone else… hopefully between $3-4.5 million will be distributed to lower-ranked players.”
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