Denis Shapovalov has warned more players will start withdrawing from tournaments because of reduced prize money and "mentally draining" bubbles.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant prize money at most tournaments has been significantly reduced since the ATP Tour resumed last August.
World No 12 Shapovalov is currently playing in Dubai and would earn $149,490 if he wins the tournament, compared to $565,705 won by Novak Djokovic last year.
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While the ATP announced earlier this month that it will be increasing prize money at some tournaments, Shapovalov thinks some players "don’t want to play at all" at the moment.
"I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of withdrawals and a lot of people not going to tournaments because the prize money is low," he told
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"In a way it’s not motivating to play every week and play all the big tournaments because there’s not really a lot in it for us other than the Slams at this point that are paying just as much or better, like in Australia this year.
"For sure, it is difficult for the players, but we’re in this situation and hopefully the ATP or someone can do something to improve the prize money and bring it back to what it was. We have other obligations from sponsors, contracts that obligate us to play as well.
So for sure, that’s definitely one reason why a lot of players are still playing, because otherwise, I feel like a lot of players just don’t want to play at all.
The Miami Open next week has been hit with withdrawals as Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have both opted to skip the tournament to focus on the clay season.
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Roger Federer will also not be playing in Miami as he looks to get back to full fitness.
Shapovalov, 21, believes the current situation, with players having to live in bubbles while they are at tournaments, is "not motivating" for top players.
"I’m just playing because I enjoy it, I enjoy playing the big tournaments,” he said. "But I am also finding other ways to get motivated. I went to Doha and Dubai this year, which are new tournaments for me, so it’s exciting, it’s something new.
And I am trying not to play a lot, just to stay out of the bubbles too, because it is very mentally draining. And I felt that last year, by the end of it, it was depressing to be out there.
"There are ways that I’m trying to cope with it and for sure I think the reason why I’m playing, again, are contractual obligations, but also I’m playing the big tournaments because I do love to play the big events and I do want to still achieve certain things.
"I want to win big tournaments, I want to go up the rankings but I think for the bigger guys it’s not really motivating. They’ve been there, they’ve won Masters, they’ve won Slams, so they don’t have a reason to go and play."
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