“Cincinnati” Masters finalist Milos Raonic has thrown support to a player breakaway initiative, with the Canadian saying: “A lot of us were kept in the dark by our leadership for six months. 

“We were disappointed with many things.”

The 29-year-old former Wimbledon finalist added: “I voiced my opinion on many things, such as executives in other sports taking pay cuts.”

The issue – sparked by the Friday resignations news from the ATP Player Council by president Novak Djokovic and Canadian member Vasek Pospisil – has come to a head during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Raonic, the son of Macedonian scientists and academics, put a calming spin on the volatile situation. 

“There is no perfect time. Is it the right time to be out on the streets with COVID going on and protesting to make a change? 

“Probably not – but stuff needs to happen.”

Tennis was shut down completely from March until August, a span of nearly half a year in which no Tour tournaments were held.

The lack of income provided a short, sharp shock for athletes in the lower tiers.

“As tennis players, we weren’t making a dime for months and months,” the 30th-ranked Raonic – a former Top 10 player – said. 

“Yeah (there were) some played exhibitions, but most players, and most of those guys that are playing exhibitions are guys that are not too worried about making a buck.”

The Canadian sent a message to ATP executive suite: “It was the lower guys that weren’t making a dime. But our executives were staying home and didn’t feel it necessary to take any pay cuts. 

“I pushed for that on every single phone call we had. I asked that question.

I don’t know. We have a former player (Italian Andrea Gaudenzi) leading us. 

“I hope they step up and they work a bit more with the players.”


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