SBD/September 2, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

New ATP Player Council President Eric Butorac Prepares To Spearhead Key Negotiations

Butorac is insistent on working together with the WTA on combined events
Eric Butorac was elected last week to succeed Roger Federer as ATP Player Council President, and the 33-year-old doubles specialist "has been deeply involved in the machinations of the tour since since being elected to the player council six years ago," according to Ben Rothenberg of the N.Y. TIMES. Butorac will "lead players through future negotiations" with the nine Masters 1000 level tournaments, which will "see their prize-money contract expire at the end of the year." Butorac said, "Within the ATP Tour they’ve been incredibly successful, but there is also a bit of variance within there. Some have done more than others. I need to make sure that our guys get taken care of and that these tournaments don’t fall too far behind the Grand Slams." Rothenberg reported Butorac "hopes to have those negotiations completed at the World Tour Finals in November." While some fellow council members have been "outspoken about men deserving more compensation than their female counterparts, Butorac balks at reopening the debate." He said, "There was a time, the last four years, when the ATP was stronger than the WTA. But there’s also times when the WTA was maybe equal to the ATP. So I doubt it’s something that we’re ever going to go back on. So I’m focusing on saying: ‘Let’s grow the whole pie. Let’s work together.’ We have a lot of combined events, and if the facility is right and it’s big and those events have been very successful, so let’s let that continue on and move forward. I don’t think it’s worth going back on that" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/30).
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