Denis Shapovalov has spoken out about a looming tennis crisis after pointing out the prize money for ATP 250 and 500 events has hit a critical low.
The ATP and WTA were hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic as tournaments were called off and revenue dipped as many players opted to travel only for Grand Slams.
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Canadian Shapovalov attempted to address the issue at the Dubai Open after a big announcement this week.
Following his quarter-final win over Jeremy Chardy at the Dubai Open, where he hasn't dropped a game on serve, the in-form World No.12 talked about the whopping drop in prize money.
The Miami Masters just announced a huge 66 per cent (approximately) reduction in the prize pool for the up-coming tournament.
The Miami Open winner will take home $310,000 in prize money in 2020, compared to in 2019 when Roger Federer took home roughly $1.35 million.
Prize money isn't the only issue, with big names such as Rafael Nadal, Federer, Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem all absent for various reasons.
Prize money breakdown for @MiamiOpen singles events:
•Round 4: $40,000
•Round 3: $26,000
•Round 2: $16,000
•Round 1: $10,000
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) February 23, 2021
Shapovalov said if prize money remains low, players may opt to just play Grand Slams due to the hassle and risk of travelling.
"I definitely think there's going to be a lot of withdrawals and a lot of people not going to tournaments," Shapovalov said.
"I do agree the prize money is low, and it's not motivating to play every week, and play all the big tournaments. There's not really a lot in it for us other than the Slams at this point, that are paying just as much or better."
Shapovalov calls for ATP action
The Canadian said he hoped the ATP take action so players have more incentive to attend tournaments outside the majors.
"Hopefully the ATP or someone can do something to improve the prize money and bring it back to what it was," he added.
"But it is what it is right now, you know. So we have other obligations from sponsors, contracts that obligate us to play as well.
"So for sure, that's definitely one reason why a lot of players are still playing, because otherwise, I feel like a lot of players just don’t want to play at all."
This isn't the only issue raised as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hurt tennis.
Recently, Mexican Open tournament director Raul Zurutuza claimed Federer had a deal with Dubai - which means he has never played in Accapulco - and hoped more of its kind would 'never repeated' so big name players can visit multiple events.
Furthermore, Zurutuza admitted the tournament didn't have the money to pay Nadal his appearance fee, despite the Spaniard being defending champion.
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