Dominic Thiem won’t donate to Novak Djokovic’s coronavirus player relief fund

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Dominic Thiem will not donate money to lower-ranked players and claimed: None of them are at risk of starving.

Novak Djokovic wants an ATP Player Relief Fund to support players ranked outside the world’s top 250.

The world No.1 and president of the Player Council wants to raise £790,000 from the top 100 with the top five stars each giving around £24,000.

Thiem, the world No.3 who banked £1.6million for losing the Australian Open Final to Djokovic, said: “None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. None of them will starve.

“I’ve seen players on the ITF Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100 per cent. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money.

“If I have to give, I prefer to help people or institutions in need who can use it during this difficult time. No profession guarantees you big successes at the start of your career.”

Rafa Nadal is “very pessimistic” about the chances of an imminent return of professional tennis.

The Spaniard took part in the shambolic Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro yesterday as he beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov in a PS4 match – and then pulled out of a later charity challenge with a “back injury”.

And the 19-time Grand-Slam winner said: “I am very pessimistic that the tour can return to normal activity.

“You travel every week, stay in a hotel, go to different countries. Even if you play behind closed doors, organising an event needs numerous people’s participation.”

With 32 top pros contesting the virtual event, Andy Murray beat Benoit Paire, but Jo Konta lost to Sorana Cirstea.

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