Roger Federer has called on his fellow professional players to rally for an increase in prize money from the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments.
The 19-time major winner says the current agreement is a good one, but it has run its course and time was right for players to get together and seek pay increases.
President of the ATP player council tennis professional Novak Djokovic said this week at the Australian Open in Melbourne that “everybody's trying to do their best” when asked about players getting a bigger slice of the Grand Slam cash pool.
Federer, who has earned almost $112 million in career prizemoney, supported Djokovic's push for a bigger percentage of revenue for players.
“We had a good agreement, in my opinion that made the Grand Slams happy, the players pretty happy. Seems like that has run its course,” he said after his second-round match late Thursday. “The moment that happens, there's not the same increases anymore, so players have to rally, get back together again, put in the effort,” said Federer.
“The Grand Slams know that. They will only react when we do so. We're ready to do it” he continued.
Craig Tailey, the director of the Australian Open tournament director, says there are plans to increase the tournament’s prize money over 5 years at the opening Grand Slam of the year from $55 million to $100 million.
The singles champion this year will get $4.0 million, but first round losers only receive $60,000.
Federer says the process of having to ask for more was “a bit boring”, but the revenue-sharing model was not quite where it was supposed to be.
“But, look, you can't go from here to right there in a day. We know that,” he said. “We just hope they (Slams organisers) realise and they do appreciate us maybe more all the time and not just in waves, you know what I mean? “But it's all good. We have good contacts with the Slams. It's all good. But it's going to be a never-ending story.”
Federer added that it was good that the players were talking to one another saying, “When the players don't talk, nothing gets done. If the players talk to one another, it's interesting,”.