Denis Shapovalov: ‘I feel like a lot of players just don’t want to play right now’

Denis Shapovalov believes players ‘don’t really want to play at all’ at the moment due to lower prize money and increased inconvenience. 

Although the ATP Tour is producing a largely full schedule now, tournaments being unable to sell tickets – coupled with increased costs of setting up bio-secure bubbles – has seen prize money drop considerably this season.

Many players claim they are unable to break even in tournaments anymore, and Shapovalov believes it is the main reason for so many recent withdrawals from tournaments – and it will keep happening until the ATP re-incentivise the players.

“I think for the bigger guys, it’s not really motivating [to play 500s and Masters],” Shapovalov said.

“They’ve been there, they’ve won Masters, they’ve won Slams, so they don’t have a reason to go and play.

“I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of withdrawals and a lot of people not going to tournaments.

“I do agree the prize money is low, and it’s not motivating to play every week, and play all the big tournaments.

“There’s not really a lot in it for us other than the Slams at this point, that are paying just as much or better.

“Hopefully the ATP or someone can do something to improve the prize money and bring it back to what it was.

“But it is what it is right now, you know. So we have other obligations from sponsors, contracts that obligate us to play as well.

“So for sure, that’s definitely one reason why a lot of players are still playing, because otherwise, I feel like a lot of players just don’t want to play at all.”

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