New Delhi, Sep 20: India No.1 Somdev Devvarman Tuesday endorsed the view of the top guns of world tennis that the scheduling of tournaments is unwieldy, and went a step further, saying the ‘players are underpaid.’
Somdev agreed with World No. 4 Andy Murray that players could even go on a strike if things did not improve.
The players staged a ‘revolt’ of sorts when the US Open schedule went haywire after incessant rain. The cramped scheduling came in for severe criticism from top players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and many players rallied around them to voice their concern. They have agreed to take up the issue with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), over the packed schedule which has left hardly any rest for players.
‘What happened at the US Open helped us to stir up the issue. We don’t have enough rest between tournaments. Federer was pretty upset and so was Rafa (over the scheduling) at the US Open. They got the players together and their stand and a change should happen soon. We don’t have a player’s association in 20 years and it is about time we had one,’ said Somdev, who slid five places to 70 in the latest ATP Rankings.
Somdev also demanded a better pay for the players.
‘Fans pay to come and watch us play, but the players don’t even get paid 12 percent of the revenue. We are underpaid,’ he said at the DLTA Complex.
On losing five ranking places, Somdev said: ‘That is how the tour works. A few weeks back I didn’t play enough matches, but still went up because others lost points. Sometimes you will lose points and sometimes you will gain. But what is important for me is to not focus too much on numbers, for me the priority is to stay healthy. It is the later part of the season and players generally tend to pick up injuries,’ said Somdev, who will be taking a two-week rest to recover from the shoulder strain he suffered during the weekend’s Davis Cup tie against Japan in Tokyo.