It is well known that the top ranked players on the tour are not motivated to play ATP 250 level events. Outside the Top 5, it is possible to find a sprinkle of high-level talent at these events, yet it will take more than a pretty penny to sway the Big Four with the Almighty Dollar.
French tournament director François Caujolle, who heads the Marseille Open – a 250 level event on the ATP World Tour – revealed that the top three players on the tour, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, seemingly cost approximately 1 million Euros.
“We were close to Roger Federer, but he wanted 75,000 euros,” said Caujolle (via ubitennis.com). “A few years later, we contacted Rafael Nadal, who asked for 300,000 euros. Subsequently, we tested with Novak Djokovic, who would accept only 400,000 euros. Today, however, you can’t have one of them for less than a million.”
While inflation has clearly played its part, there is no denying that tournaments are in a tough position when if comes to analyzing a cost-benefit analysis. On one hand, brining in one of the top players will increase ticket sales, yet is it enough to make up for the hefty price tag? What if the top players gets injured and is forced to withdraw from the tournament?
However, Caujolle appeared confident that his tournament will one day host one of the top players.
“We will try to bring one of the top 3 in the next year.”
The Marseille Open is set to begin on Feb. 16.