Croat Borna Ćorić, is one of tennis’s rising stars, and has now proved he is a star off the court as well by coming to the rescue or two desperate fans and answering their appeal for help.
Coric, at the age of just 21, has risen to number 13 in the world. He has already got two career titles to his name, and reached the final in Shanghai two weeks ago, beating Roger Federer in straight sets, only to lose to Novak Djokovic eventually.
Recently a couple of fans wanted to watch the live action at this week’s Vienna Open but finding the cost of tickets prohibitive, one of them took to Twitter to say that he and his friend “are crazy for tennis, but can’t afford it”.
The big-hearted Croat saw their Tweet and has now arranged for a pair of complimentary tickets to be left for the two fans so they can watch Ćorić play his quarter final match against Kevin Anderson.
Whilst the cheapest tickets in Vienna start as low as €22 (US $25), a seat in the Grandstand for Sunday’s final costs as much as €384 (US $440).
This case has shone a light on how much tennis costs to watch for the average fan. A seat to watch the Wimbledon Final this year, for example, would have set you back a cool £2,667 (US $3,430), whilst already tickets to watch a first round match at Flushing Meadows next year are retailing at US $595 each.
This level of prices is beyond the reach of the average man in the street, and soon only those with the deepest pockets will be able to watch the biggest stars in action. This means that, at least at the top level, tennis is becoming an increasingly elite sport to watch, giving the lie to efforts by tennis authorities to broaden its appeal to the masses.
When a sport loses touch with its audience then it runs the risk of stagnating and eventually declining. The two fans will doubtless enjoy their day watching the live action but it may be a long time before they can hope to do so again.