It’s a new ATP target. The Italian Andrea Gaudenzi, former player and current president of the entity, expressed his intention that a Masters 1000 level tournament be played on grass. Until now, the nine competitions of that hierarchy, some that changed their venue and got off, were always played on clay or hard court.
“I would love to have a Masters 1000 tournament on grass the week of Queen’s and Halle, it is something that I have already proposed to the interested parties and the rest of the ATP leadership,” Gaudenzi said in an interview with The Times.
“I like the idea of a strong Masters 1000 as a prelude to Wimbledon. We have a Grand Slam on grass, but we do not have a Masters 1000, so it is a subject that will have to be discussed. It could be a good opportunity to have another great event in the UK ”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Italian was also concerned about the economic problem, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, seeing the tournaments in a limited income situation and forced to greatly cut their prizes for tennis players. “Our sport is highly dependent on what comes in from ticket sales. In the ATP circuit, for example, these gains are close to 45% or even 50% of the total ”, he said.
In addition, a group of players created the PTPA, a new organization that competes with the ATP itself and that promises to watch over the rights of tennis players in a more intimate way. “I have been following this topic very closely since it originated, I know how the players feel, I have a lot of empathy for them. But honestly, I don’t think the players were in a better situation with the PTPA. I firmly believe that if we want our sport to grow, we need everyone’s collaboration ”, he remarked.
Gaudenzi referred to the issue of the possible union with the WTA: “We have a new mission in the medium term, that of growing the presence of tennis in the world market based on television rights and sports media. And it would be interesting if ATP and WTA could get together and market in the same direction. We are two great tours and when it comes to contacting the fans we speak the same language ”, he concluded.