The ATP has a "player’s relief fund" to financially help lower ranked players in need, and they are asking the top 100 ranked players to contribute. Dominic Thiem, the third-ranked player in the world, has made some anti-donation comments suggesting that he will not donate because these players "don't do their best on the court."
Now, of course it's up to each player to decide what to do, but such comments are particularly unkind in this difficult time.
In my blog post the other day, I called out Novak Djokovic for being insensitive, but I have to give him enormous credit that, as the head of the ATP Tour Council, he has donated over six million dollars.
Noah Rubin, who is demonstrating that what he lacks in size and ranking he makes up for in leadership, heart and soul, correctly pointed out that not everyone has "Thiem's talent."
Actions speak louder than words and in a time of unprecedented hardship and divisiveness, I would hope that the voices of tennis would think carefully before they speak.
Steven Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.