The former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has utilized the stage at the annual player meeting at the Australian Open to call on fellow professionals to seek an increase in tournament prize money.
Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal were among those present at a gathering that is compulsory for all male players to attend. The Swiss tennis legend, Federer is reported to be not in support of Djokovic’s idea.
Djokovic also called for the formation of a players union to launch a crusade for higher levels of financial reward at all tournaments, including Wimbledon. The Serbian with career prize earnings of nearly $110million had opined that the tennis players are still underpaid in comparison to their equivalents in other sports.
Incidentally, Djokovic has raised the voice for a hike in the prize money shortly after the Australian Open has revealed its plan of a substantial – almost 90% – hike in the players’ prize purse over the next six years, English daily Mail Online has reported. The presentation at the year’s first Grand Slam has stated that the prize money over the next five to six years will be raised from the present Aus$55m to Aus$100m.
All the four Grand Slams — the Australian, French, Wimbledon and the US Open — have in recent years raised their prize money purse significantly.
Frenchman Gilles Simon and the world No 4 Alex Zverev are reportedly among the player who are backing Djokovic’s idea.