'He has no right': Rivals slam Dominic Thiem over 'disrespectful' comments

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Dominic Thiem said he wasn't keen on sharing his wealth for a tennis relief fund. (Getty Images)

Tennis star Dustin Brown has led the criticism of World No.3 Dominic Thiem after he claimed he shouldn’t have to share his wealth to lower ranked players in a recovery fund.

The popular Austrian caused a stir on Monday when he claimed he shouldn’t have to sacrifice his salary to help out lower ranked opponents who are struggling for cash due to the suspension of the ATP Tour during the coronavirus crisis.

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But German former World No.64 Brown has offered Thiem a reality check.

The 35-year-old - who is now ranked World No.239 - has reminded Thiem that many struggling players come from humble beginnings and have grafted their way to the top.

For Brown this included stringing rackets for his opponents to earn some extra cash.

This was backed up by British World No.233 Tara Moore.

The 26-year-old said Thiem couldn’t understand the “desperation” of some lower ranked players who would have no income.

Dustin Brown of Germany plays a backhand in his match against Dennis Novak of Austria during day two of 2020 Australian Open Qualifying. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

She also said tennis could lose a future World No.1 if a young player is not able to recover financially from their position.

Many other tennis pros praised Brown’s story and suggested this crisis should force the ATP into a re-think about how to distribute funds.

Thiem comes out swinging over relief fund

In an interview with Austria's Krone newspaper, Thiem was asked about last week's announcement by world number one Novak Djokovic that he was working with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to organise aid for players struggling with the paralysis of the game due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"Quite honestly I have to say that no tennis player will be fighting to survive, even those who are much lower-ranked," Thiem said, adding: "None of them are going to starve."

He said that his experience competing on the sport's Futures circuit had shown him that there are "many, many players who don't put the sport above everything else and don't live in a professional manner."

"I wouldn't really see why I should give such players money," he went on.

"I would rather give money to people or organisations that really need it," Thiem said.