The Frenchwoman made comments about doubles players earning too much money and players responded. The best way to tick off a whole subset of tennis players? Try to take their money away. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has come under fire from the doubles community after she joined the show “Match Points” to express her views on how tennis can get more money to lower-ranked players.
"Why don't you get some of that money to the qualifier players?" @bartoli_marion offers a way for the tours to get more money to lower-ranked singles players…
What is your opinion? pic.twitter.com/jxXlxNr8iF
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) May 22, 2020
“I know I’m not going to make myself fans but I think we have to say it,” said Bartoli, who joined a panel which included Noah Rubin, Ben Rothenberg and host Josh Cohen. “I just don’t understand all those doubles competitions year-round. I understand during the Grand Slams and the Olympics because they are part of tennis history and everything. I’ve been to some tournaments now with my player and I see they have crews–six people around them.”
Bartoli says that the sport might try to funnel some of the doubles prize money to lower-ranked singles players, but while suggesting that she ended up insulting doubles players themselves.
“Even a singles player, when I used to play we couldn’t afford to play six people to travel with us full-time and they can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles,” she said. “Why don’t you get some of that money to the qualifier players, or to someone who is playing only the challengers?
"I just don’t understand because doubles you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player. You don’t practice so much, your routine is different, and they keep going week-in and week-out and getting that money when actually the other ones playing challengers are really struggling. I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely or entirely, but to get less money and to give that money towards qualification and the other player I think should be a solution as well.”
Since the release of those comments, Grand Slam doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Gabriela Dabrowski have taken to social media to voice their displeasure.
“I'm jealous!!!” tweeted Mahut. “I thought I had a large staff, can you introduce me to the doubles player who travels with 6 people please?”
Dabrowski, obviously fuming about Bartoli’s comments, released a long thread on Wednesday night, reiterating her belief (widely assumed to be fact) that nobody travels with a large entourage on the doubles circuit.
“NO ONE that plays only doubles travels with a team of 6 people,” she wrote. “Not one player. Some tennis federations might send a team of people to work with ALL their players, but I don’t know one doubles player who travels with more than one or two people maximum, and even that is usually periodically. In reality we usually share a coach with another player or multiple players… wanna know why? BECAUSE DOUBLES PLAYERS CANT AFFORD A FULL TIME TEAM. WE WOULD LITERALLY BE BLEEDING MONEY EVERY WEEK IF WE HAD ONE.”
Enjoy the full thread below:
Thoughts on Marion’s comments about doubles, my first thread
1. I’m a little bit in shock but I’ll do my best to address everything said.
2. Marion is suggesting to take money away from those who earn on average less than 19% of what a singles player makes? Does she realize that
— Gaby Dabrowski (@GabyDabrowski) May 28, 2020
Bartoli took to Twitter to defend herself on Thursday, replying to Mahut by saying: “I do not have the silver bullet and I do not denigrate anyone, in any discipline, I just say that the current situation is not acceptable and the Coronavirus highlights it, but I do not pretend to have a silver bullet. I think about possible solutions.”
She replied to Dabrowski as follows: “I don't have the perfect solution, I am just trying to find solution!! But if you blame me for caring for single players outside the top 100,so be it!! I don't think I am wrong by doing that!!”
To be continued…