• ATP Tour

ATP blasts US Open over Monday final

ESPN staff
December 17, 2012
Andy Murray claimed his maiden grand slam triumph in the fifth consecutive Monday final at the US Open © PA Photos

The ATP has blasted the organsiers of the US Open for scheduling the men's singles final of the 2013 tournament on a Monday, calling on the final grand slam of the year to fall into line with the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

The US Open has been forced to run into a third week owing to bad weather in New York for each of the past five years, including this year's epic final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

Critics of the tournament have long questioned the logic of Super Saturday, the penultimate day of the two-week event scheduled to play host to the women's singles final and the men's semi-finals.

As well as leading to a congested schedule at one of the two grand slam venues without a roof, playing both the men's and women's finals without a rest day after the semis has been a bone of contention with the players for some time.

In response to these concerns, the women's final has been moved to Sunday, ending 30-years of the Super Saturday billing. In turn, the men's final will now be played on Monday, though organisers have not yet confirmed whether or not the changes will be permanent.

"By modifying the schedule to allow a rest day between the semi-finals and the final, the US Open has recognised the incredible physical demands of men's tennis," the ATP said in a statement.

"However, the ATP and its players have made it clear to the US Open that we do not support a Monday final.

"We strongly believe the US Open should keep a similar schedule to the other grand slams, with the men's semi-finals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday.

"It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA."

The ATP also voiced its misgivings over the USTA's $4 million increase in tournament prize money, taking it to a record $29.5 million.

"The prize money increase announced by the US Open for 2013 is appreciated and, together with the 2012 increase, represents the largest increase by the US Open since the ATP Tour began in 1990," the ATP said.

"However, over the last nine months the ATP and its players have asked that the US Open fully recognise the fundamental role of the players in driving US Open revenues, which are the largest in our sport.

"The ATP therefore remains committed to continuing discussions on this issue, with the objective of ensuring that the players' share of the revenues at the US Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event."

Grand slam purses have been debated throughout the season, with many players arguing that they were too small in relation to the revenue generated at the tournaments and too lop-sided in favour of the top competitors who regularly advance to the latter stages.

The matter came to a head before this year's Australian Open, although tentative talk of strike action fizzled out.

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