MIAMI, FL (March 20, 2013) — The U.S. Tennis Association announced this week that it will boost prize money for the U.S. Open to $50 million by 2017 and adjust the schedule to return to a Sunday final starting in 2015, and several tennis players have applauded the USTA’s decision, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
“It’s a positive step to see the prize money increase. It’s a good response, and it’s a reaction from the U.S. Open towards the players’ demands and desires,” said Djokovic.
Djokovic, along with Roger Federer who participated in Tuesday’s discussions via telephone, were among the group of top players who lobbied the USTA and other major tournaments over the last year to reconsider key changes, including prize money distributions.
“It’s a very positive step for players,” Djokovic stated. “It proves that players are more united than ever. I believe that these are some significant changes in the negotiations with Grand Slams. It hasn’t happened for ever or for many, many years that we have such increases. We just feel like we deserve it … Not just the top players, but a lot of players who are in top 100, top 200 deserve to have a better living from this sport. This is a great move forward … I’m sure that a lot of players will be happy with this prize money increase.”
Djokovic also supported the reversal of a Monday final at the U.S. Open, but it won’t go into effect until the 2015 edition of the tournament.
“Me personally, I am not happy with a Monday final. But it is the way it is for next two years,” he said. “I think we have to accept it. Then after that it all goes back to normal hopefully for Sunday final like every Grand Slam has.”
Djokovic also commented on the absence of Federer and Rafael Nadal in Miami this week, but believes it won’t change his focus as he opens his campaign against Lukas Rosol on Friday.
“It’s the same for me,” Djokovic commented. “I’m sure that even without them we will have a great tournament.”
Despite the serious tone of much of his pre-tournament press conference, Djokovic left on a light note by taking a photo with the media and tweeting it out — but not before inspected his work.
Look how excited we are to have a pre tournament press conference!! lol pic.twitter.com/cmKCnxR3Uj
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) March 20, 2013