Dominic Thiem’s recent comments about not wanting to donate money to a relief fund for lower-ranked players were perceived as way too harsh by many, but the Austrian has since walked some of those comments back.
Not entirely, but a little.
“There are just a few things that bother me about the whole thing,” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria. “I don’t want to back down from my opinion that there are some players I don’t want to support.”
Dominic #Thiem on the relief fund: “There are many things that bother me. I won’t change my mind. There are some players I do not want to support.”
However: “Some things that I said came across too harsh.”
— Lukas Zahrer (@ZahrerLukas) April 28, 2020
Thiem, who has already earned over $1.7 million in prize money in 2019 and over $22 million for his career, isn’t necessarily against being charitable. He would just prefer to choose the charity, and the terms.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Thiem has previously said that there were a lot of lower-ranked players that were not deserving of no questions asked player relief.
“I know the Futures Tour and played there for two years. There are a lot of people who don’t give everything to sport,” Thiem told Krone.at sports editor Michael Fall in an interview. “I don’t see why I should give money to such people. I would prefer to donate to people or institutions that really need it.”
Tennis’ governing bodies are working on finalizing a $6 million player relief fund and are still in the process of determining which players will receive the money, and how much each will receive.