2013 Wimbledon Champion, Marion Bartoli, has come out and said that doubles tennis should not be played year-round and that doubles players should not receive aid.
In an interview with Tennis Majors, Bartoli said the following:
“I know I’m not going to make myself friends but I think we have to say it: I don’t understand all these doubles competitions all year round. I understand during Grand Slams and the Olympics because doubles is part of tennis history (but) I’ve been to some tournaments now with my player and I see now, these (doubles) players, they have crews, like six people around them.”
“When I was a player, as a singles player, we couldn’t afford to pay six people to travel with us full-time. They can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles!”
Although this notion in and of itself was already disturbing enough, Bartoli went on to add that she believes doubles players should not be receiving as much aid as they do.
“Why don’t you get some of that money to qualifiers, to someone who plays only Challengers? I just don’t understand because in doubles, you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player. You don’t practice as much…they keep going, week in and week out, getting that money.”
“I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely, but to get less money and give that money to qualification and others, that should be a solution.”
To be fair, getting more money to qualifiers and challengers would be a great thing and allow more players to make tennis their full-time profession. Still, taking that money from doubles players is not the solution. These players work just as hard, if not harder, than singles players due to their increased results needed to make a living.
In response to Bartoli’s comments, tennis commentator, Jose Morgado, disproved the idea that doubles players are well paid. He did so by pointing out the fact that the highest paid only-doubles player in 2020 is #39 on the overall year prize-money list.
At the end of the day, the comments made by Marion Bartoli were not very well thought out and will hopefully soon be redacted. Doubles tennis and players will always be an important and enjoyable part of tennis.
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