Nadal fans force ATP Federer change
To promote the start of the Clay court season, the ATP tweeted a poster image of the 9 best male players in the theme of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things. To commemorate Federer’s return to the clay after a 3 year absence, the Swiss Maestro was placed front and centre.
This did not go down well with the Nadal faithful, who think the ‘King of Clay’ should have been the main man to showcase the clay court season. The ATP listened, and updated their image, with the Spaniard in the centre, captioned as ‘The fans have spoken’
On other note, you would have thought that the player in the centre should be the World Number 1, Novak Djokovic, and maybe players ranked above Tiafoe (30) and Shapovalov (20) should have been included. It unfortunately highlights the issue that many people do forget, that as much as tennis is a game and a sport that needs to be fair, it is a business. Sponsors pay big money to the players who get the most coverage, not necessarily the best. The prize money the players earn is paid for by the fans who buy the tickets, and the networks who cover the event. Sadly the fans at home or watching live want to see the Federer’s, Nadals and Djokovic’s of the world. It is what pays the bills.
So when there are complaints that players like Federer are getting favourably draws in events, it is true. The tournament organisers want to showcase these players, because they can generate more income from tickets and coverage, which they can in turn give to the players. The US Open final in 2014 between Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori recorded one of the lowest viewing figures for the tournament. Why? The most marketable players were not in it, and sadly, the game runs on money.