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Volume 21 No. 1
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Top players, Slams meet to discuss prize money

The top four ATP players met with representatives of the Grand Slam tournaments last month to discuss prize money allocation, according to sources familiar with the talks.

The Slams on average pay out about 10 percent to 15 percent of their revenue in prize money to the male and female competitors combined. That compares to payments in other sports that can be more than 40 percent of revenue.

At the ATP players meeting in January, there was talk of a boycott. Instead, the ATP has been studying the issue, and the top four players — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray — met with Slam representatives during the BNP Paribas Open in mid-March. Federer updated other players at a meeting before the start of the Sony Ericsson Open, which was scheduled to conclude Sunday.

Both the U.S. Tennis Association, which owns the U.S. Open, and the ATP declined to comment.

Sources said the talks involved proposals for implementation not before 2013.

Players in the lower half of the top 100 of the world rankings are finding it increasingly difficult to earn a living and save for retirement. The Slams have countered that money they earn from the events goes to pay for programs like youth tennis.