Wimbledon to launch investigation into players quitting games to pocket easy money

After seven players quit during the first round to pick up prize money quickly thanks to new injury rules, Wimbledon and other Grand Slams are looking at bringing in new rules that will stop injured players quitting early and taking home a load of cash.

Under current rules, players can quit through injury and still win prize money. This rule has led to seven players quitting early in order to pocket big paydays, including two in succession on centre court yesterday.

Perhaps the biggest farce was Janko Tipsarevic, however, who quit after only 15 minutes and still walked away with prize money.

The players who are forced off via injury get replaced by lucky losers who didn’t quite reach the tournament through playoffs.

These new players don’t win any first round money, however, but can earn what could be a career defining win.

Martin Klizan, who was carrying a calf injury into the game, quit his match before even an hour had passed.

Speaking on the issue surrounding the several early exits, John McEnroe said: “There’s got to be a rule for guys who come out clearly not giving or able to give 100 per cent. It’s no good for anyone.I do think when you saw Klizan he clearly wasn’t ready or able to play from the very beginning.

“They’ve got to figure out some kind of rule change where, I suggest, they give him half the first-round prize money and bring someone else in who is at least fit and can go out 110%.

“It’s not a good look for our sport when you have to sit and watch that on Centre Court.”

Indeed, the fans did not like seeing two players leave centre court so early on into their matches, and let the players know it.

Klizan clearly wasn’t ready to play in the opening match and was visibly struggling from the beginning, but why was he allowed to play the match at all if he was that injured?

“For someone like Klizan, that £35,000 really matters and he’s reluctant to give that up.

“That’s where you need to get the powers-that-be at Wimbledon, the ATP, all the people involved in our sport, even a coach to speak to Martin and make him understand that in the best interests of the sport, and for himself – he’s risking a worse injury.

“This isn’t something that just cropped up, he’s had issues with this for a few months, so he’s got to get this sorted out.”

Adding to McEnroe’s points, Tim Henman says he is frustrated that professional tennis stars are willing to enter into a match, knowing that they’re injured, just to quit and walk away with prize money.

“The prize money is that big that they want a chunk of it. It is frustrating and it is something that has to be looked at.”

Boris Becker, however, doesn’t think players are doing anything dodgy and quitting on purpose, but that they are so keen for the sport that they want to go out and give it a try no matter what.

“If you see the locker-room, most players have something. You are going to give it a try. It is the nature of the beast. They feel nothing when they are dead.”

It would be harsh to take away prize money from players who are forced to quit matches through injury, but that seven quit during the first round suggests that perhaps there are some players willing to purposefully quit in order to win money with little to no effort.

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