JOHN ISNER has declared he is set to make a net LOSS if he is beaten in the first round of Wimbledon.
That is despite the prize money for those beaten at the first hurdle increasing 15.38 per cent to £45,000 this year.
Unlike other sportspeople – especially footballers – tennis players must arrange, and pay for, their own expenses.
That means accommodation, flights, coaches’ salaries and physios must all come out of earnings, regardless of how far they go in tournaments.
And American giant Isner, 34, has highlighted the stark reality for the majority of players on the tour, including paying £30,000 to stay in Wimbledon for two weeks.
Writing for Forbes, he said: “When I travel to a Grand Slam, I need to look for a place to stay for me, my family and my team.
“In addition to me, 256 men and women are looking for houses in the same neighborhood in the same weeks, and that’s just the singles players – add to that list the tourists, television and media crews, and the entire tennis industry.
“For Wimbledon this year, I found a nice home a short walk from the All-England Club for around £30,000 for the duration of the tournament.
“The prize money for the first round at Wimbledon is £45,000, which weighed against flights, salaries and expenses for my team, would make the tournament a money-losing event for me.
“I also maintain a full staff throughout the year. I have a coach and I have a chiropractor, who works to keep me healthy.
My expenses are largely a fixed, sunken cost, regardless of how much revenue I earn. I try not to make a habit of spending the whole year losing in the first rounds of events, but tennis is one of those sports where nothing is guaranteed.
“I pay their salaries. I pay for their flights as we travel around the world on a weekly basis, and I pay for their hotels and meals while we’re on tour.
“Additionally, instead of having a front office manage the business of my team the way Dirk [Nowitzki, former NBA player] does, I have to do it, and I enlist the help of a management agency to help me so I can focus on winning matches.”
Isner has written his name in Wimbledon and tennis history with his marathon matches on the famous grass of SW19.
He beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in the longest match ever and reached the semi-finals last year before Kevin Anderson won the final set 26-24.
The American also went on to talk about the £45,000 prize money being a somewhat misleading figure.
Once taxes are taken into consideration, the actual figure that goes into the bank account is, of course, significantly less than that.
But while no prize money is guaranteed at the start of each year and is solely reliant on a player’s performances in tournaments, one thing is certain.
Isner added: “My expenses are largely a fixed, sunken cost, regardless of how much revenue I earn.
“I try not to make a habit of spending the whole year losing in the first rounds of events, but tennis is one of those sports where nothing is guaranteed.
“I want to be clear that I see expenses as something to be managed, not eliminated. My coaches, trainer and agency have all helped make me the player and the business that I am today.
Latest tennis news
“I love building a team around me, and being able to support a group of people is one of the best feelings I’ve come to know.
“Being able to travel with family and friends so they can cheer me on as I play is something it’s hard to put a price on.
“My point is simply that for all of this, there is indeed a price.”