Of course he's not in it to make those players feel good. But i feel like every level of the tour was designed to help you build yourself up so that you can get to that next level. Futures were designed to help people break on to the tour. Challengers are the next step up from futures and are to help you prepare for the atp tour and then once you get good enough in challengers you start transitioning to the main tour, hopefully forever leaving the challengers behind. Some guys need to go back and forth between challengers and the atp tour.
Erik can love the game all he wants but there are plenty of challengers for him to to get in to or try and get in to. Yes there are some great young players playing the futures tour but there is a real difference between the challengers and futures tour
if he wants to make an earning playing this game then why not try and play the events that will earn you more money? futures only really help you if you do good in them point wise and the money isnt that great
also if he does have an injury even if its just a small one why not take the time off to get rid of it and then go back and play at a higher level
besides if he is injured to the point where its affecting his play that much and he really cant fight through it then maybe ikt would be better to tak time off.
Yeah but if he is lightly injured and then packs it in, he ll likely slip out of entry in Aussie Open qualies, not to mention lose his rhythm while on the sidelines. (At the same time is would be calculated risk, as he may become more injured.) If he isn't injured and this is about confidence, his lack of confidence would likely explain his pure judgement in doing this to try to improve his confidence. (a downward spiral is underway). Or maybe he knows that his confidence comes and goes, and that in January he could be on the rise again, and playing Futures now just allows him to wait out low confidence now and be able to play the qualies when it returns...
To your point that this is rather poor sportsmanship - perhaps players with a certain ranking should simply be barred from entry into Futures events (or a new name for these tourneys should be come up with!).