The Italian Matteo Berrettini it is clear and forceful. Number eight in the world considers that It is not the players who have to help their colleagues financially, but the entities that govern tennis, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA.
In statements given by Eurosport Italia, the number one transalpine thus stands out from the lines defined in the Support Program, initiated at the time by the ATP Players Council, with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, at the head , and later joined by the WTA, the FIT and the four Grand Slams.
This program, estimated at almost five and a half million euros, to alleviate the lack of income caused by COVID-19, would be destined to financially support players located between positions 100 and 500 who would receive about four thousand euros each.
“In my opinion, Djokovic and Nadal’s project is great. It means a lot to sport. When I read your initiative, I took a moment to reflect on my priorities, not because I don’t respect other players, but because I believe that no player – in any kind of sport – should put himself in the position of helping another player financially.“says the Italian.” I think this responsibility belongs to the Federations, ITF, ATP, WTA“says Berrettini.
“They are the ones that make the tournaments take place, and we, the players, we pay them with our performances. They have to take care of us, “he continues.” The real problem is deeper. We have to invest money in another way to help lower ranking players. Personally, I prefer to help other more specific causes. It is not that I do not care about other tennis players, in my opinion tennis is based on investments, “continues the transalpine openly.
Berrettini found understanding in Djokovic, who commented to him: “Don’t worry, Matteo, donation is not mandatory, it is something you can agree to if you feel like it. If you prefer to buy masks for hospitals like Spallanzani or help needy families, I respect you“That is an important message, it must be spread outside the circle of our players,” adds the Roman player.
Berrettini’s opinion agrees with the one put forward by the Austrian Dominic Thiem, the first who raised his voice in this regard, and who defended his position of not supporting that fund, because it was not about being supportive or not, “but about deciding for himself who he helps.”
“It is not about solidarity, because of course I would also use my money to help lower ranked players, but would not set a limit: there are also tennis players outside the top 500 who are worthy of support“assured the Austrian.
“Money must go to the right people. At the same time, there are also some institutions and people who need more help than tennis professionals. And I would like to make this decision for myself, “he said then Thiem.