At a Palm Desert charity event, Andy Roddick says the ATP Board’s blocking of an $800,000 prize-money increase at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells is ridiculous. The ATP Board of Directors deadlocked on a vote regarding the increase, with three tournament representatives voting it down, three players representatives voting for it, and CEO Brad Drewett abstaining.
“I do understand that when someone gives you a (expletive) load of money, you take that money,” the Desert Sun reported Roddick as saying.
Roddick also said with California losing its two ATP tournaments in Los Angeles and San Jose, the BNP Paribas Open will be the only event featuring men’s play, and the ATP Board should not risk angering Oracle CEO and tournament owner Larry Ellison.
“Someone like Larry Ellison wants to invest into his event and make it the biggest possible, and he gets stopped by the ATP,” Roddick said. “If you’re a start-up, what would make you want to navigate through that and to go through that firing line? How can you step into tennis with any confidence? It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore was in attendance at the charity event, and has said that if the ATP does not approve the increase, the tournament will return to 2011 prize money levels.
“You said something like, ‘OK, you’re not going to improve the prize money? We’re going to take it back to 2011,'” Roddick said to Moore. “I thought it was a brilliant negotiation ploy.”