Dominic Thiem recently appeared on the Einfach mal Luppen podcast hosted by Real Madrid FC midfielder Toni Kroos. During the interaction, Thiem spoke at length about the need to make the Futures and Challengers tours more financially viable for players.
The Austrian pointed out that while the prize money at Majors and other big tournaments has been constantly rising, the same cannot be said about the lower-tier events.
"It is true that there is always more prize money at Grand Slams and major tournaments. That has increased continuously," Thiem was quoted as saying by Kronen Zeitung. "If you look at the Futures, the prize money is like it was before we were even born."
Dominic Thiem went on to highlight how the tennis associations of the four countries that hold the Majors have a lot of money in their coffers. According to the 28-year-old, these four countries need to invest a part of their profits in the Futures to help in the growth and development of young players.
"The four Grand Slams make so much money. The four associations of these countries are by far the richest," Thiem said. "They should add a small percentage to the Futures. This could at least allow the players to make some money. Now it's still the case that you make a minus (loss) even if you win the tournament. That was not supposed to be like that."
Thiem, who is recovering from a wrist injury that he sustained in June, is set to make his competitive return in Abu Dhabi in December ahead of the Australian Open. The Austrian won his first Grand Slam at the 2020 US Open, but has struggled to maintain that form and recently fell out of the top 10.
"Italy brings out one top player after the other" - Dominic Thiem on the Italian association's investment in tennis
Dominic Thiem also spoke about the progress that Italy has made in developing young players. The 28-year-old believes that the country's willingness to pump money into national tennis tournaments has allowed the youngsters there to live within a small circle and still compete with the best.
"You've got most of the players in the top 100 and so many young players. The association puts a lot of money into the national tournaments," Thiem said. "Then the players can compete with international top players within a radius of 100 or 200 kilometers, but they don't have to travel far and can maybe even sleep at home."
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"That is extremely reflected in the budget," he added. "Italy brings out one top player after the other. That certainly has a lot to do with it."