Dominic Thiem has continued to back his comments about being unwilling to contribute to a fund helping lower-ranked players even as Australia’s firebrand Nick Kyrgios blasted his attitude.
The Austrian who has made over $23 million in career prize money, had earlier said some lower-ranked players do not fight hard enough and he wouldn’t be contributing any financial help towards Djokovic’s fund. Thiem had said:
“I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100%. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see, why I should give them money.”
And while some fans had given him the benefit of the doubt saying things might have been lost in translation – Thiem was being interviewed in his native language – the Austrian has continued to back his stance.
Speaking to Sky Sport Austria, Thiem said he wasn’t going to go back on his words. Thiem reasoned he was still bothered about how the entire fund would be used and that there were a few players who didn’t deserve the money because of their unprofessional approach.
“I’d much prefer it to be chosen by the players themselves because then those players who really need it and who really deserve it will benefit. What I said came across as a bit strong. I didn’t say it so strongly.”
“There’ll always be people, animals, organisations who need support much more urgently than probably every single athlete.”
Earlier, Kyrgios had minced no words in criticising Thiem’s approach, arguing there was already a lot of disparity between what was paid to the top-ranked players and those struggling outside the top 100.
Kyrgios lambasted Thiem, saying the Austrian should put himself in their shoes and help whether or not players were professional.
Another Australian, John Millman had earlier also been critical of the wage gap between the top players and those ranked lower down in the rankings while Dustin Brown said his career would have been finished had he faced the issues the current lower-ranked players are facing due to the cancellation of these tournaments.