17 Nov 2011

Tour must look after top players - Rusedski

12:13 pm on 17 November 2011

Former British tennis number one Greg Rusedski says the men's tour must look after the welfare of top players like Novak Djokovic - rather than expect them to turn up injured at tournaments so they do not lose out on bonus payments.

Djokovic polarised opinion last week when he opted to compete at the Paris Masters despite aggravating an existing shoulder injury days earlier at the Basel Open.

However, if he had been a no-show in Paris, he would have sacrificed a more than $2 million pay cheque he was guaranteed to earn just for contesting a single point in the French capital.

The world's standout player of 2011 went on to win two matches before quitting in agony ahead of a much anticipated prime-time quarter-final showdown with local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

While Djokovic's decision might have angered fans who had bought tickets for the match, Rusedski says the current system is to blame for the situation.

The 1997 US Open runner-up says if Djokovic did not play in Paris, he would have lost out on over a million pounds in bonus pool money so he wanted to give it a go.

Rusedski says Djokovic played two matches - then against Tsonga he didn't bother to go on court.

But as the bonus pool works on yearly commitment, the Serb world number one deserves the money, Rusedski says ahead of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.