Grand Slam record holder Rafael Nadal recently spoke with ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi in Rome to discuss the direction of the sport and specifically OneVision, the Tour’s transformational game plan. to build their future.
The pair talked about several pillars of OneVision’s phase one, which is set to roll out in January 2023, including improved pricing and financial transparency, the schedule and a focus on the Tour’s premium product, the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, aided by improved category conditions.
OneVision includes the alignment of player and tournament interests through a long-term prize agreement, which includes a game-changing 50-50 profit-sharing mechanism, already in place at the Masters 1000, which allows players to share the financial success of tournaments.
“I think it’s a win-win formula,” Nadal said.
Gaudenzi offered: “I think this can be a game-changer for the relationship and trust between players and tournaments, because we want to give players visibility into the tournament economy and also have players share our future success. If the tournaments are doing well financially, players will get 50% of the profits in addition to the prize money.
At the Masters 1000 level, the base prize will increase by over $15 million by 2025. The fixed bonus pool will grow by double digits and cover the top 30 players (instead of 12). Separately, a brand new variable bonus pool, tied to profit sharing, has the potential to provide additional financial support to over 140 players.
Gaudenzi and Nadal discussed the need for tennis players to recognize that they are not competing against each other, but rather against other sports and entertainment platforms.
“Let’s work together to improve our sport, instead of fighting all the time,” Gaudenzi said. “Because the competition is football, soccer, American football, golf, not competing against each other.”
“Oh, I agree with that,” Nadal said. “I think we waste a lot of energy fighting against each other; the tournaments fight for themselves and the players fight for ourselves.
The pair also discussed the schedule and an increased focus on the ATP Masters 1000, where significant changes will be seen from 2023. The ATP Tour schedule has been revamped to create more prime time tennis throughout the season, responding to fan demand to see more games. featuring the biggest stars from the biggest tournaments.
From next year, the Masters 1000 in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai will become 12-day events alongside Indian Wells and Miami. Canada and Cincinnati will follow in 2025.
Gaudenzi told Nadal: “It is also important to promote the top product. Fans want to see the best players play in the biggest events in the world. How important is a Masters to you?
Nadal replied: “The Masters 1000 are huge events. Sometimes, from my personal point of view, it’s the Grand Slams and the rest of the tournaments much lower, so I think our goal as ATP is to bring our tournaments closer and closer to the Slams in terms of promotion and of importance. We need to encourage tournaments to continue to grow.
OneVision also provides longer-term category protection for tournaments that incentivizes tournaments to invest in their future, resulting in improved infrastructure and improved fan experience. Tournaments will be held accountable for meeting new, higher standards in multiple aspects of event delivery.
“It’s a great product and we have to encourage tournaments to keep growing,” Nadal said.
OneVision consists of two phases. The first phase, which has been approved by the ATP Board of Directors, is focused on aligning the interests of all tournaments and players and improving the Tour’s premium product.
Phase two, working with the WTA, ITF and all four Grand Slam tournaments, will focus on a new unified governance for the sport and unlock the ultimate fan experience.