Rafael Nadal welcomed the proposed reforms to the ATP Masters 1000 events, to create more high-profile match-ups between the world’s top players across the season.
From 2023, the ATP Tour calendar will allow the Masters 1000s in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai to become 12-day events alongside Indian Wells and Miami. It is also being reported that events in Canada and Cincinnati are set to follow in 2025.
“The Masters 1000s are huge events,” said Nadal in a conversation with ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, in quotes published by atptour.com.
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“Sometimes from my personal perspective it is Grand Slams and the rest of the tournaments much lower, so I think our goal from being the ATP is to put our tournaments closer and closer to the Slams in terms of promotion and importance. We need to encourage the tournaments to keep growing.”
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“It is also important to promote the premium product,” Gaudenzi added. “Fans want to see the top players playing in the biggest events in the world.”
These tournaments reforms come under ‘OneVision,’ the Tour’s overarching plan to increase prize money and improve financial transparency in the years to come.
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The pair welcomed the idea of tournament organisers and players working more closely together to more interest in the sport.
“Let's work together to improve our sport, instead of fighting with each other all the time,” Gaudenzi said.
“Because the competition is soccer, football, American football, golf, not competing against each other.”
“Oh, I agree with that,” Nadal replied. “I think we lose a lot of energy fighting between each other; tournaments are fighting for themselves and players are fighting for ourselves.”
Phase one of OneVision will include a long-term prize money agreement and a radical 50-50 profit-sharing mechanism, which is already in place at the Masters 1000s. The aim is to allow players to share in the financial success of tournaments.
The base prize money at ATP Masters 1000 level will also increase by more than $15million by 2025. Meanwhile, there will be reforms to the fixed bonus pool, which now covers the top 30 players – increasing from the top 12.
Additionally, a variable bonus pool will be introduced that is linked to profit sharing, and can offer financial support to more than 140 players.
“I think it can be game-changing for the relationship and trust between players and tournaments because we want to provide the visibility to the players on the economics of the tournaments and also have players share our future success,” Gaudenzi added.
“If the tournaments do well financially, the players will get 50 per cent of the profits on top of the prize money.”
Phase two of the project, which has launched in collaboration, with the WTA, ITF and the four Grand Slams, will focus on improved governance of the sport and on improving the fan experience.
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