Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – Last week's decision to schedule a Monday finish for the men at the U.S. Open apparently did not sit well with the ATP.
On Monday, the organization representing the men's tennis players released a statement in opposition to the change made by the United States Tennis Association. The Monday finish, the USTA said, was to accommodate the players' request for a day of rest between the singles semifinals and final.
"By modifying the schedule to allow a rest day between the semifinals and the final, the U.S. Open has recognized the incredible physical demands of men's tennis," the ATP's statement began.
"However, the ATP and its players have made it clear to the U.S. Open that we do not support a Monday final. We strongly believe the U.S. Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men's semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday. It is unfortunate the U.S. 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 U.S. Open had been the lone Grand Slam to schedule the men's semifinals on Saturday and follow with the final on Sunday. The final, though, has been played on Monday for the last five years because of inclement weather.
In addition to the format change, the increase in prize money for players was apparently not sufficient for the ATP.
The USTA raised the total package to $29.5 million, $4 million more than last year and a total increase of $6 million from 2011.
"The prize money increase announced by the U.S. Open for 2013 is appreciated and, together with the 2012 increase represents the largest increase by the U.S. 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 U.S. Open fully recognize the fundamental role of the players in driving U.S. 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 U.S. Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event."