A Question of money
The one big difference between Cricket and Tennis is not only the equipment used or the rules of the games but the post match interviews. Tennis journos seem to possess an EQ and IQ that is lower than their cricketing counterparts (as if that were possible). Tact and grace are virtues unkonown (mostly), though one has to admire the Tennis journalists their wide ranging choice of pointless questions. The Cricket journos on the other hand seem to be quite subdued at post match interviews. It doesn't mean that foolish questions are not asked but it means that the foolish questions aren't a result of lateral thinking.
Let us take a look at the following excerpts of a transcribed interview of Svetlana Kuznetsova after she had lost a marathon energy sapping 4 hours 44 minutes encounter to Francesca Schiavone at the Australian Open 2011.
Q. This might make you feel better. You've earned over 15 million dollars in your career and Francesca has earned only 7. Have you ever done anything with your 15 million?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What's happened with you guys? I see Roger's interview. You guys ask him what he does with his money. We sleep, put under my couch and I sleep on it every day I think. I have 17 or I don't know how many, 15 million.
You just have to realize when everybody comes to me and says, Oh, you have 17 million. I'm like, Where are they? I don't see any. I'm same human as you are and we're all humans. I honestly don't know.
It's exactly what people think. We're super rich and something like that. I'm talking now for myself. Looking at the total amount of money you earn in career, they think you have 15 million. You don't realize how much we spend for the team. You don't realize how much we pay for traveling, for hotels, for preparations.
You don't realize with coaches, we pay them. It's pretty high charges. Higher you are, more you spend for your team. It's really a lot expenses. I'm not going to do a computer math here for you; I'm not good at it. But I like to count still.
But there's lots of expenses and also we do taxes and few things that people don't realize. We're not like soccer players who just travel for travelling expenses. The team pays. We pay everything. I pay everything by myself. No federation, nobody helps me. Definitely to go up somebody puts money into you. My parents. Some people have been helped by sponsors.
Definitely have to do a lot of expenses. It's not like I have under my couch 17 million. You can come and check though.
One has a couple of observations on this line of interrogation. Kuznetsova answered mostly on what she did with her prize earnings but didn't really take off on the 'This might make you feel better' part of the question. But her answer still throws a light on the difficulties and the loads of expenses Tennis players have to face to stay on the tour. What most people look at is their prize earnings. Life as a Tennis player will surely be financially rewarding if one is a top 10 player. She doesn't really mention the sponsorship money that she is making in her earnings column. Though even on that bit, only the top 5 may be earning really big time plus the likes of Sharapova who has earned far less on the tour than what she has managed to earn from her sponsors.
Also what about the journeymen who keep travelling around the world, play qualifiers almost every week, are not well known enough to earn big sponsorship deals? Their world surely is not a bed of roses. The likes of Bopanna and Somdev come to mind. Somdev had mentioned in an interview that he hadn't visited his home for almost a year due to constant travelling on the tour. The tough financial situation also can be partly blamed for murmurs of match fixing in Tennis especially by the guys on the periphery. Throwing one match once in a while for a decent packet may not be beyond a few broad minded players.
Imagine if MSD is asked a question if they end up losing the WC finals to say, West Indies. 'Hey boys look at the bright side. Your entire tem earns a lot more than your opponents and by the way what do you do will all that money?' One may not hear this question but one will surely read analysis of how the team lacks motivation because IPL money has made them complacent and how the importance of playing for the country is diluted. Cricket reporters dont ask uncomfortable/ stupid questions. They assume a hypothesis and publish it as analysis/ opinions.
Roger Federer was asked about what he does he do with his money and Fed replied that he does what every Swiss guy would do. Politicians more talented than Fed in making money think the same way in this country so fed is in good company.
Thanks sfx for sharing the Kuznetsova interview