The most over-reported off-court tennis conflict of the year mercifully reached a resolution yesterday when the ATP finally approved the Indian Wells prize money increase. The tournament which begins two weeks from today will now offer $860,000 more in the men’s field. Hooray! For months, players, former players, future players, tournament officials, members of the media and even the cashier at my local Burger King have been up in arms over this squabble.
And if you haven’t been following (good for you!) just what was this hub-bub about? The Cliff Notes version: With his millions/billions in the bank, owner Larry Ellison and tournament officials wanted to add some more cash to the top-heavy Indian Wells pot to even things out by helping the little guys – early rounders. The WTA loved the idea (more money!) while the ATP denied the request because the money distribution didn’t conform to its formulas. Back and forth they went. Indian Wells threatened to reduce the overall money to 2011 levels. More posturing from both sides. Deal reach. We can all sleep at night again.
So what does this mean for us fans? It’s much ado about nothing. Tournament egos will be stroked. Players will play. The public will by tickets and hot dogs will be served. I’m just glad we won’t have to hear or read about it anymore. Which of course opens the door for more important Indian Wells storylines like “will the Williams NOW play this year?” Yawn!
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