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By Chris Oddo
Photo Credit: Natasha Peterson / Corleve
Sergiy Stakhovsky


(April 10, 2011) Last week, the website published an in-depth interview with world No. 71 and No. 2-ranked player from the Ukraine, Sergiy Stakhovsky. A few days later, tennis blog Let, Second Serve published the translated version of the interview, which featured revealing remarks from Stakhovsky about life on the tour, prize money issues, Federer and Nadal's issues (or non-issues according to him), and the gradual slowing of the all surfaces in recent years.

Find the translated interview here. (All quotes in this article are from this translation and therefore may have inaccuracies).

Stakhovsky's comments come as no surprise to those who follow the sport closely. He is echoing the sentiments of many of his fellow players that have grown weary of trying to meet growing travel and coaching expenses with incomes that have basically flatlined. Still, Stakhovsky’s insights expose an alarming trend: That life on the tour is extremely difficult financially for players outside of the top-20.

The same topic was covered by USA Today’s Doug Robson, when he published an article entitled “Occupy Tennis?” in March that highlighted the fact that the wealth disparity between players ranked in the top 100 has never been greater.

Stakhovsky says the meager first-round prize offerings at Indian Wells and Miami make it more likely that a player like himself will take a net loss after taking into account travel and coaching expenses.

"They don't pay off at all. I'm in the negative after Indian Wells and Miami," Stakhovsky is quoted as saying in the interview.

"Contracts, clothes -- that's all for the top five or top ten players."

Stakhovsky says that he'd like to see the big tournaments shell out more of their profits to the players, saying "Yes it would look vulgar if a player who lost in first round made $50-100 thousand, but how much he invest in himself to even play there?"

Concerning the rumored Federer-Nadal rift, Stakhovsky had this to say about it: "When players want to change something, he [Federer] looks at it too passively, because it can harm his image. I respect Nadal more in that context, because he openly supports the players' interests."



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