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This has been an interesting thread to read. One thing people keep claiming is that tennis players will dry up if they're not given more money.

I just see absolutely no evidence for this, as there is never any shortage of people competing. Looking at Harris' activity from last year, aside from several tournaments in Australia, he played in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Britain, Canada, and the United States. So there must be enough money for him to travel to all of those tournaments, across three continents.

As far as I can see, it's a pretty great life. Travelling around the world playing tennis, with a chance that you might make it into the big time. That's why he's doing it. That's why there's never any shortage of people doing it. Harris isn't even ranked in the top 10 in Australia. He's ranked just below Tomic. Who, despite his appalling attitude, is still playing tennis!

Maybe something should be done to make it slightly easier for the lower ranked players. I honestly don't know. But let's say you guaranteed the top 500 an income after expenses of $50,000. I have no idea how you would do this, but let's say you did that hypothetically. The world number 501 would be annoyed that they're just outside of the cut-off. Or players would start complaining when they drop out of the top 500.

This is just the way that it is in a competitive single-player sport. A friend of mine is a professional chess player. He's ranked in the top 10 in the UK. Now I'm sure you can guess that he's not exactly wealthy. He's completely skint, and lives with his parents. Meanwhile, the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, is a multi-millionaire. For exactly the same reason - everyone wants to watch Carlsen play, and far, far fewer people want to watch my friend play.

I don't see how you can ever change this. And you don't have any divine right to make a living out of tennis, chess, art, writing, music, or anything that you enjoy doing, just because you're passionate about it. If you're not good enough, and don't get the breaks, you're going to be skint. At which point, you can get a job...you know, like everyone else.
 

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Should players like Harris around 200 and possibly those below him, get paid more? The best argument for "no" I have seen is based on market arguments. People are not interested in paying good money watching anyone of Harris caliber, and hence there is not much revenue generated by this kind of player. As a result, it would be a mere charity to pay them more. The best argument why people like Harris deserve a higher income comes from comparison with other sports. Being around 500 in the world, or even lower in many sports, will no doubt earn you a comfortable living. Heck, in soccer (or football, for some of us), it is probably enough to be in the top 10 000 in the world to be a well-paid star. So, what more can be said?

Well, the economy in sports is mostly dictated by market considerations, so the reason soccer players (to pick the most obvious example) all over the world gets paid a lot, is because people like to watch the national leagues. It is clear that spectators don't need to watch the biggest stars to get invested. Generally speaking, this is true for most team sports, and I think there are multiple reasons for this:

1) In team sports, the hierarchy of players is much less obvious. Of course, people will never mistake Messi for an average player, but the ranking is much less obvious than in tennis, or any other individual sport for that matter. If a soccer player around 200-300 makes a good effort in a high profile match, journalists can suddenly write articles as if this player is some kind of superstar, perhaps belonging to the top 10. I'm not saying this to discredit journalists; it is truly hard to know what the proper ranking is. Obviously, something similar happening in tennis is unthinkable. Even if a player like Harris would make an extremely unlikely upset, no one would argue that a huge star has been born.

2) In team sports, the mega-stars play side by side with players of a lower caliber and have much help from them. In fact, without the support from many players well below the top 100 range, Messi, Ronaldo, and the other superstars wouldn't be able to shine as they do. Due to the high number of players involved in matches, even if the best teams (like, for example, Barcelona and Real Madrid) are packed with stars, inevitably not everyone in the team will be at the absolutely highest level in the world. Also, when the high-profile teams play in the national league, many of the opposing players will be well outside the top 3000. By contrast, if any of the big three is seen at the same court as players this far down, chances are it is a charity event.

3) Team-sports are normally built up from teams located in a city where they play half of their matches. This creates a completely different dynamic than what we see in individual sports. Fans from the home town will cheer for their team, even if everyone knows there are better teams and players elsewhere. An obscure team from a small city, perhaps not even playing in the highest national league, is likely to have a fair share of devoted fans, no matter how far the team is from the highest level.

The bottom line? Well, I think the level of lower-ranked players has increased over time. Nowadays, when a player around 150 plays against someone in the range 20-30, the lower-ranked player still has a shot. As a result, grand slam matches with a decent qualifier going up against an established ATP-player is often interesting. Still, this is not enough to create a good opening for someone like Harris. The reason people are not very much interested in players at his level is that everyone feels that anyone this far down doesn't have a legitimate chance against the true elite. Unfortunately, tennis will never be like the team sports, where you can be a star by just being the best in your local home team. Probably the best we can hope for is a small but gradual increase in the number of people that can make a living out of tennis, but nothing that makes the situation even remotely similar to that in team sports.
 

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There are absolutely no parallels between these two situations whatsoever. If I'm being generous, the one parallel is that someone is annoyed. Apart from that, they are completely different, and not in any way comparable.
Why is it completely different ? Do you think it would be easy for him to just 'get a job' after mentally and physically committing most of his life to Tennis at the cost of other skills ?
As a fan when you are critical of the system of your favourite sport in some form, what is more likely to happen ? You'll be disappointed & complain about it once in a while OR just 'get' another favourite sport ?
 

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What voting is he referring to?
Still no answer.

Everyone knows Novak tried to do and did way more for lower ranked players than Federer ever did. Just look at what Pospisil has to say. 🤷🏻‍♂️
I heard that Popsickle comment too — still remember it. I waited, waited, waited for the tennis journalists to grab this thing and run with it but it never happened. So that story never got corroborated. Popsicle claimed that Federer and Nadal, all by themselves "vetoed" Djokovic and 80+ other players from the top 100. So as of right now it's still just a gossip, an unverified matter. And this nobody y'all yapping about, Andrew Harris, is nowhere near top 100 — so he was not part of that voting process.

Can someone please provide serious documentation on what Popsicle was talking about? Exactly what happened which led to the demise of player union or unofficial "unified stance" proposal thing that supposedly was torpedoed by Nadal and Fed, just the two? Seems to me like if that is true then it only adds to my disdain of Djokovic. He had 80 of the top 100 tennis pros supporting his idea, yet he failed to defeat Fedal — the top general, the commander in chief with 80 strong army lost to two Spartans. What a failure of leadership — what a beta cuck snowflake soyboy Nole is
 
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More people seem to do that with Djokovic though
:))))) This is just sad. Desperate, but funny. :)))

Strange that it comes from a Federer fan, no?
 
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