PARIS — The ATP, which runs the boys’s skilled tennis excursion, has authorized a big bundle of adjustments that come with profit-sharing between tournaments and avid gamers and making 5 extra of the excursion’s top-line Masters 1000 occasions larger and longer.
Andrea Gaudenzi, an Italian and previous superstar participant, mapped out a lot of this long-term plan when he carried out to change into chairman of the ATP, taking on the submit initially of 2020.
It has taken just about two and a part years to get the bundle authorized as a result of the demanding situations posed by means of the coronavirus pandemic in addition to the myriad tensions and fiefs inside the game.
“This has been a very long time coming, and to me, it is a large step towards the avid gamers and the tournaments operating extra in alignment and extra within the spirit of the partnership, which is precisely how the ATP was once designed many years in the past,” mentioned Todd Martin, a former top-five singles participant and ATP Participant Council president who’s now the manager government of the World Tennis Corridor of Status.
The ATP is an odd, incessantly unwieldy partnership in skilled game between hard work and control: Gamers and event house owners have equivalent illustration at the board of administrators and the power to dam every different’s tasks.
This construction has made alternate tough and every now and then excruciatingly sluggish in a fragmented game that still has six different governing our bodies: the WTA; the World Tennis Federation; and the 4 Grand Slam tournaments, which perform independently from every different and the excursions and generate greater than 80 % of the earnings in skilled tennis.
The brand new ATP bundle, set to be introduced Monday, tries to near a few of that hole by means of strengthening different tournaments and to near ranks inside the males’s excursion, which has been divided by means of interior dissent. Novak Djokovic, these days the No. 1 males’s singles participant, spearheaded the advent of the Skilled Tennis Gamers Affiliation in 2020 with the purpose of constructing extra negotiating energy for the avid gamers and increasing the collection of avid gamers in a position to make cash on excursion.
However maximum peak males’s stars, together with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, have refused to again the PTPA, and all 3 are a part of the ATP Participant Council, which was once instrumental to getting the brand new adjustments authorized.
This is a wide-ranging plan that still creates stricter regulations on war of pastime for board individuals and bettering participant prerequisites right through tournaments. However the important thing adjustments come right down to sharing.
The ATP will mixture event rights into ATP Media, the excursion’s gross sales, manufacturing and distribution arm. For the primary time, the Masters 1000 tournaments, the 9 peak occasions at the common males’s excursion that come with the Miami Open and BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., will proportion a share of earnings from ATP Media with the lower-category tournaments referred to as ATP 500s and ATP 250s. The 500s and 250s will even have assured illustration on an expanded board of administrators.
For the primary time, the Masters 1000 tournaments will permit absolutely unbiased auditing and grant the avid gamers a proportion of income on peak of the bottom prize cash.
“We mentioned, ‘Let’s get started in point of fact on the root of the issue,’ which is the loss of believe between avid gamers and tournaments,” Gaudenzi mentioned in a phone interview. “And all the ones fights that yearly happen and take 80 to 90 % of our time and effort and assets and are all about 1 %, 2 %, 3 % of prize cash.”
Gaudenzi mentioned the profit-sharing deal, just like the ATP plan as a complete, would run for 30 years from 2023 to 2053 and known as for assured prize cash will increase of two.5 % every yr on the Masters 1000 occasions. After the multilevel auditing procedure, avid gamers would get a share of income in line with their efficiency in all the Masters 1000 tournaments. If the tournaments lose cash, the bottom prize cash would stay the similar.
Gaudenzi mentioned the once a year bonus pool would additionally building up considerably, “concentrated on $20 million” (up from about $11 million this yr), and can be paid out to 30 avid gamers as a substitute of the present 12.
In trade, the Masters 1000s are increasing. Till now, most effective Miami and Indian Wells had been 12-day occasions with 96-player attracts. However starting subsequent yr, the tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai will make bigger to 11 or 12 days, and the Canadian Open and Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, are set to make bigger in 2025.
That would depart most effective the Monte Carlo and Paris Masters as weeklong 1000-level occasions, however Gaudenzi mentioned the hope was once to make bigger them and lead them to blended males’s and girls’s tournaments.
“We’re seeking to supply extra days of top rate leisure,” Gaudenzi mentioned.
He mentioned marketplace analysis confirmed that roughly one thousand million fanatics adopted tennis to a point however that the overwhelming majority “most effective tests in and tests out within the large suits” like “the semifinals and finals of Slams.”
He mentioned the purpose was once to create a larger core of 100 million fanatics who apply the game extra intently year-round.
“The space between the Slams and the Masters individually is a little bit bit too nice now in case you evaluate it to, say, golfing,” Gaudenzi mentioned. “In the case of good fortune and prize cash, the majors and the PGA Excursion are so much nearer, and we wish to deliver that point up as a result of we wish to give a story to fanatics from January to the ATP Finals on the finish of the yr. “
The growth of the Masters 1000s will create fallout, lowering the to be had window for the smaller tournaments, specifically the ATP 250s, the bottom rung at the primary excursion’s ladder.
“When the time table will get compressed, you will lose some 250s someplace,” mentioned Invoice Oakes, a former event director of a 250 in Winston-Salem, NC “Individuals are going to be pressured out, however I have talked to a couple of event administrators who mentioned, ‘It is not going to be me; it will be the opposite man.’”
Gaudenzi mentioned attrition can be low however that the long-range purpose was once no longer merely to modify the ATP however to develop tennis as a complete by means of growing extra unified governance and safeguards. He added that he sought to steer clear of conflicts like the only this yr with Wimbledon, which barred Russian and Belarusian avid gamers from taking part in this summer time most effective to look the ATP and WTA retaliate by means of stripping the event of ratings issues.
“It is an unlucky state of affairs that reasons a disruption to the avid gamers needless to say and to everybody,” Gaudenzi mentioned. “The one factor I will be able to say is, I am hoping that is the final time this ever occurs.”