Doubles tennis has always had a tough ride, it’s been played down and to an extent ridiculed why do players come after the doubles?
Dan Evans in January last year gave an interview following a bit of a spat with Jamie Murray and blasted doubles players for “not working hard enough to make it singles” which Jamie quite rightly called “ill-informed and dumb” coming from someone who has history for not maybe working as had and even was banned for taking a class A drug slightly hypocritically.
Not only has Dan voiced an ill-informed opinion but Marion Bartoli has now joined this anti-doubles agenda.
Marion believes doubles should stop to an extent and the money they receive is too much and should go to the qualifiers/challenger players who struggle to make a living.
This is what Marion had to say when talking to Tennis Majors – Match Points show:
“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 of 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!”
“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.”
I actually found this quite horrific. Tennis has moved on, more prize money is there so why shouldn’t doubles players have teams too?
I like doubles and I think it’s one of the best things about the sport. They put in hard work and to build that on court connection takes time. We often see high ranked singles players play the odd doubles and struggle to gel with someone on court so calling them out saying they don’t put in the same effort is pretty poor from Marion.
Marion herself played a lot of doubles. She was a world No.15, played 199 matches, seven WTA finals and won three of them! Marion also played in doubles at Grand Slam level in 19 events! Marion said at the beginning of her piece she doesn’t understand doubles competitions all year round but played a lot of all year round doubles herself.
I don’t understand why doubles player who are highly skilled at what they do should now be the ones to give up their prize money to help singles players.
Wimbledon prize money last year was £2,350,000 for the winner of the singles where as the whole prize pot for doubles was £2,292,000 and the winning pair shared £540,000 so £270,000 which is less than a quarter finalist in singles.
I don’t understand taking a swipe at doubles players, It’s unfair and very hypocritical.
Marion and Dan have been vocal about doubles tennis but have been more than happy to play in doubles and dip into the prize pot too. Marion played a lot of doubles despite being a top 30 singles player and likewise Dan Evans of late who played four consecutive Grand Slam events.
If doubles tennis and players don’t work as hard, why are you dipping into the doubles tour and prize pot?