The best way to tick off a whole subset of tennis players? Try to take their money away. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has come under fire from the doubles community after she joined the show “Match Points” to express her views on how tennis can get more money to lower-ranked players.
Bartoli says that the sport might try to funnel some of the doubles prize money to lower-ranked singles players, but while doing so she took a few cracks at doubles players themselves.
“Even a singles player, when I used to play we couldn’t afford to play six people to travel with us full-time and they can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles,” she said. “Why don’t you get some of that money to the qualifier players, or to someone who is playing only the challengers? I just don’t understand because doubles you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player. You don’t practice so much, your routine is different, and they keep going week-in and week-out and getting that money when actually the other ones playing challenger are really struggling. I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely or entirely, but to get less money and to give that money towards qualification and the other player I think should be a solution as well.”
Since the release of those comments, Grand Slam doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Gabriela Dabrowski have taken to social media to voice their displeasure.
“I’m jealous!!!” tweeted Mahut. “I thought I had a large staff, can you introduce me to the doubles player who travels with 6 people please?”
Dabrowski, obviously fuming about Bartoli’s comments, released a long thread on Wednesday night, reiterating her belief (widely assumed to be fact) that nobody travels with a large entourage on the doubles circuit.
“NO ONE that plays only doubles travels with a team of 6 people,” she wrote. “Not one player. Some tennis federations might send a team of people to work with ALL their players, but I don’t know one doubles player who travels with more than one or two people maximum, and even that is usually periodically. In reality we usually share a coach with another player or multiple players… wanna know why? BECAUSE DOUBLES PLAYERS CANT AFFORD A FULL TIME TEAM. WE WOULD LITERALLY BE BLEEDING MONEY EVERY WEEK IF WE HAD ONE.”
Enjoy the full thread below: