Your accountant called. It’s tax season.
Let’s talk about income tax. No, not yours but tax on money earned by pro tennis players. Because like the rest of us, even the millionaire members of the WTA and ATP have to pay the tax collector.
In their particular case, they send their checks not to one government but to two.
And this is why many players—especially those who earn a lot—deport themselves and reside outside their homeland in exchange for tax exemptions.
Case in point is Novak Djokovic, who won three out of four Grand Slam titles in 2021.
His 49-6 record helped him earn over US$9 million. Did he put it all in his bank account?
And neither did the other top earners, such as Daniil Medvedev (US$7.4M), Alexander Zverev (US$6.3M) and the remaining members of the top 10 who took home two or three million from tournaments around the world. This is the money on which they have to pay income tax.
In tennis, players pay income tax in each country in which they receive the net prize money.
Compete at Wimbledon and pay taxes to the British government. Winning in Melbourne and paying income tax in Australia. A cm in Cinci means that some profit goes to the US government. Claim the crown at Kitzbühel and Austria will cash your income tax payment. Go too far in Monaco, and… no, wait. Monaco is a tax haven.
All prize money is taxed based on the laws and regulations of the country in which it is won.
A player who leaves the UK tournament with a check for £150,000 (C$256,000) owes the government 45%. When Novak claimed the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, he won £1.7M (C$2.9M), leaving £765,000 for the taxpayer.
Of course, no one is concerned about whether Djokovic has enough to make ends meet, but that figure still cuts the astronomical amount paid to pro athletes in tennis and most other sports by about half or even a third. .
In November 2021, perfect tennis Published an interesting piece on the subject with a list of 100 ATP players, their place of residence and the top tax rate they pay.
Once they have paid the income tax of the country in which they won their prize money, they are subject to the tax laws of their place of residence. Don’t forget that their total income includes money received from sponsorships and advertising. And members of the Top 10 make fortunes out of the courts.
Unsurprisingly, they live in places like Monaco, Dubai, the Bahamas, Florida, and Texas, where the tax rate is 0%.
Therefore, it is easy to understand why players may be less enthusiastic about playing in Spain, where the tax rate is 54%. Here, it is worth mentioning that Rafael Nadal is among the Spaniards who choose to immigrate to his native Mallorca in Spain.
Taxes are also higher in Sweden (52%), France and the Netherlands (49%), Norway (46%), England, Germany, South Africa and Japan (45%), Italy (43%) and South Korea (42%) . ,
Now you see why athletes live somewhere other than their home countries. Given their high income in terms of prize money and sponsorships, it is no surprise that the ATP Top 5 live in Monte Carlo. Indeed, go to Monaco and you could run into 8 of the top 11 men’s events.
in piece perfect tennis, a men’s tennis news site focused on the ATP. In the WTA, fewer top players—5 of the top 15—have been transferred.
No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus lives in Florida; No. 8 Karolina Pliskova chose Monaco; Number 9 Garbine Muguruza makes her home in Switzerland and Number 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lives in Dubai. Number 20 Elena Svitolina prefers London and Odessa.
This may be partly explained by the fact that there are less prominent sponsorships for women. It’s unfortunate, but some WTA headliners are getting their piece of the pie now.
Some countries have such stringent and complex tax rules that players choose not to compete there. perfect tennis Mentions how Rafa refused to play in the Cinch Championship at Queen’s Club due to British tax laws.
For tennis stars, their stage of tax experts is as important as their team of coaches, physios and sports psychologists.
Grand Slam tournaments move over time
Tennis has taken another step towards modernity. and logic.
From now on, the four majors will decide the outcome of a 6-6 match with a 10-point super tiebreak and at least a two-point advantage in the final set.
This rule applies to women’s and men’s singles and doubles events. It was already in effect in Melbourne and replaces the seven-point tiebreak in NYC.
At Wimbledon, the match went into a seven-point tiebreak when the final set went to 12–12. At Roland-Garros, there was no tiebreak – a tradition that lasted 51 years.
Now, everyone is on the same page. And it’s about time.
Of course, not everyone is happy with the change. Most fans still want matches to be decided by two games, even if it takes hours and hours.
The record-breaking performance between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon 2010 is not a good example. After three days of debate, it ended 70-68 in the fifth set.
Neither is the 2018 Wimbledon semi that pitted big server John Isner against equally big server Kevin Anderson and took six and a half hours to settle (6:36).
The problem is, in 2010, John Isner was drained and sent packing in just over an hour by Thimo de Baker in the next round (1:14). For Anderson in 2018, she was a shadow of her former self in the final, which Djokovic wrapped up in two hours (2:18).
Ultimately, it is the players (and their fans) who pay the hefty price of a marathon match.
Pulled duets fill the record books, but the sensational results belong to a different era, albeit folklore.
If you’ve read this far, you can definitely guess where I stand. Over the years, I’ve been in favor of any measure that shortens the match, from serve clocks to condensed warmups and tiebreaks across the board, because tennis is the only sport that doesn’t have predetermined play times.
I lauded the super tiebreak in the final set of doubles matches and even suggested a best of five finish to tennis.
But according to a quick Twitter poll on March 16 and 17, I am not in the majority. For 24 hours, more than 2,500 people spoke, with almost 60% voting to maintain the status quo.
What do the finalists of the men’s event at Indian Wells have to say about the new rule?
I honestly have no clear opinion, ”said Rafa. “I’m neither for nor against. To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference. I’ve read that everyone will be the same. In a way it’s positive. I don’t think Roland There is a big impact in the Garros. I think the biggest impact is going to be at Wimbledon.
As for Fritz, who took things off in the third-set tiebreak against Alex de Minaur earlier in the week, he believes the players will appreciate the change: “I think if I find myself in one of those in the future If I find it, I’ll be very happy that they now have that rule.”
However, the newly-crowned champion noted that a tradition was coming to an end. “I would miss seeing guys like 20-20 or 14-14 in fifth,” he said. “It’s just like a full-on battle.”
Taylor Fritz: All-American Hero
Is Taylor Fritz the Great Tennis Talent America has been waiting for? The one that will fly red white and blue in the ATP Top 10—something we haven’t seen a lot in the past decade.
When he outperformed Rafael Nadal in the final of the BNP Paribas Open, he became the first American since Andre Agassi (2001) to win at Indian Wells.
Currently ranked No. 13, Fritz will work hard to become the first American to break into the Top 10 in over a decade, apart from John Isner and Jack Sock. In 2018, Isner and Sock briefly peaked at number 8. Before him, Mardi Fish was at number seven in 2011.
As far as Rafa is concerned, he now has the third best start of the season in 2022 with 20 wins. Now that he’s back at World No. 3, does the King of Clay have enough left in the tank to reclaim his throne?
It sounds far-fetched, but if the past is any indication of the future, it may just have the goatee to earn its crown and title.
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