The ATP expanded the draw size at Madrid and Rome to a 96-player draw. These tournaments take place over two weeks like Indian Wells and Miami. This is drawing criticism from players who have to foot the cost of staying in Europe for two weeks before the next tournament.
Speaking of the new format, Casper Ruud said, “A player like Schwartzman and Fritz, if they lose early in Madrid, can’t play a Challenger tournament in the 2nd week because they are top 10. They can’t just comeback to ARG or US so have to pay for their teams 2 weeks in Europe”.
Diego Schwartzman hasn’t been in the top 10 in a while and can play challenger tournaments. Top players, who make millions from tennis prize money and endorsements, can easily pay for their team’s cost for two weeks. But Ruud does have a point. What do top players do if they lose early in these 96-player tournaments, which last two weeks.
This has not been an issue with Indian Wells and Miami because they are sort of like mini grand slams. Indian Wells has often been called the fifth slam.