Andy Roddick: Declining prize money hike 'stupidest thing I've ever heard'
Andy Roddick didn't mince his words when he was on tour, so it's no surprise that he's not mincing them now that he's retired.
As reported by The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., Roddick offered his thoughts on the ATP Board of Directors' failure to approve an $800,000 increase in prize money offered by the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells this year. If you're confused as to why the tour would decline an increase in prize money, then you're in the same boat as Roddick.
“I do understand that when someone gives you a (expletive) load of money, you take that money,” Roddick said at his “fireside chat” which benefits the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village, a center for abused children in Beaumont.
“Someone like Larry Ellison wants to invest into his event and make it the biggest possible, and he gets stopped by the ATP. If you’re a start up, what would make you want to navigate through that and to go through that firing line?” Roddick said. “How can you step into tennis with any confidence?
“It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of."
The ATP Board of Directors is set to vote again on the proposal soon, and if the offer isn't approved, the BNP Paribas Open has said it will cut its purse for next month's tournament to 2011 levels. “I thought it was a brilliant negotiation ploy," Roddick said, according to The Desert Sun, directing his comment at BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore, who was in attendance. Tennis.com reported that ATP player representative Justin Gimelstob is optimistic that the tour -- namely, the three tournament representatives who have voted against the purse increase -- will reverse course in the upcoming vote. Roddick is in California for a string of charity events. He played in last week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, and on Saturday he'll be on hand at the SAP Open for an exhibition mixed doubles match that also will feature Lindsay Davenport and Steffi Graf.