Golf was forced to innovate quickly, tennis is next, and what new sports leagues can learn.
Amazing article here, Andrew. Though I write an NBA Substack, I'm actually a tennis player. I played my first Futures events early last year, and I'm currently rehabbing an injury, hence why I'm not playing on tour at the moment. The system is definitely a problem. The main culprits, in my opinion, are the lack of marketing around the sport, the lack of cohesive television contracts (split up between a myriad of networks), and the ATP (and WTA) Players Union lacking any sort of power. Yes, they exist, but they're more of a recommendation board than a proper union with overriding powers. The Futures, Challengers, etc., nobody watches us in the States. Overseas it's a little better, but it is a very "rich get richer" sport. And even then, the top guys and girls aren't making what other sports are making, as you stated. It's messy. I could see the Saudis coming in (they've already held a lucrative exhibition tournament in the offseason), but right now there doesn't appear to be any major traction. It's a weird career -- you travel for a living, but the travel is what kills your pocketbook.