MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Roger Federer’s reticence to join other players in voicing complaints about issues affecting the men’s game came under fire again at the Australian Open on Monday.
Former No. 3-ranked Nikolay Davydenko said he didn’t understand why the 16-time Grand Slam champion wasn’t supporting the push to address player grievances, including the schedule and the distribution of prize money.
“Probably I am wrong telling that to you, especially because these things can stay, must stay in the locker room,” Nadal said after his first-round win.
Nadal spoke out following a players’ meeting in Melbourne on Saturday, when rumors of a possible strike emerged for the second time in six months.
“He don’t want to do anything, he just try to be an outsider from this one.”
According to Davydenko, a strike is still a distant prospect, but he said the players will meet again at the Indian Wells Masters tournament in March.
“The ATP should try to do something between now and Indian Wells,” he said. “For sure, all the top 100 players will go there and just see what will be changed.”
The Russian said he did not support the idea of a shorter season, a change that is backed by Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray, but he agrees that prize money has not increased proportionately in line with growing profits.
Prize money also is an issue at the Indian Wells tournament, where Davydenko said those players who lose in the first round can sometimes take a loss after paying tax and travel costs to compete.
Nadal reacted strongly in his pre-tournament news conference Sunday when it was suggested that Federer disliked it when players complained openly about problems on the tour because it tarnished the image of tennis.