Alcaraz Is Too Expensive Says Vienna Tournament Director On High Appearance Fees

Alcaraz Is Too Expensive Says Vienna Tournament Director On High Appearance Fees

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Top tennis players don't come cheap, which is why tournament organizers at low-key ATP events have to fork out the greenback to "convince" the world's best players to play at their events.

Having the world's best players in a tournament drives ticket sales, which helps to pull in more sponsors. The Vienna Open is not a minor tennis tournament. It is an ATP 500-level event that has a rich history on the ATP Tour. Almost every year the world's best players frequent this tournament which has a 32-player singles field.

But even for a tournament category just a couple of notches lower from elite status, it still needs to go the extra mile to pay upfront and tempt a talent and an athlete of the caliber of Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz. Top players are not purely motivated by prize money at this level.

Moreover, the compact tennis schedule makes it even harder for the world's top players, in this case Djokovic and Alcaraz to even prioritize playing tournaments in late October. Herwig Straka who serves on the ATP Board of Directors, is also the tournament director at the Vienna Open.

He's been able to converge 12 of the world's Top 20 players (five of whom belong in the Top 10) to Vienna this year, with the main draw start set for Monday, October 23. The absences of Djokovic and Alcaraz are always a topic of discussion at this stage.

Alcaraz, in particular, was due to play in Basel before he pulled out due to injury. But judging Herwig's preference for "density" which in this case means depth of the playing field, the Vienna Open tournament promoters tried to sign up him for this year's edition but were put off by his high appearance fees, according to Austrian newspaper De Standard.

Appearance fees are not subjected to public disclosure which is why there is very little data on how much each player commands. However, Alcaraz is reportedly charging upwards of 750,000€, making him "too expensive" according to Straka.

But even in the midst of a recession and inflation that has crippled many households, the Vienna Open is predictably going to be a success this year, with the seven-day spectacle in Austria having already maximized all ticket sales.


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