Andy Murray - Shanghai Masters 2023

Andy Murray voices ‘unpopular opinion’ about ATP Tour

Andy Murray has been backed by many peers after voicing an opinion on the South American clay court swing, praising the ‘amazing atmosphere’ at the Rio Open this week.

Murray is currently in the Middle East, having played on the hard courts of Doha and is set to compete in Dubai next week.

However, it appears that the former No.1 is also watching clay court action across the globe in South America, and has called for more focus to be put into that part of the season.

This included Murray requesting the ATP Tour to add a Masters 1000 event in South America in a post on social media, “Unpopular opinion, South America should have its own dedicated swing on the tennis tour with its own masters series. The way the fans support the tournaments there is incredible. Amazing atmospheres and is clearly part of their sporting culture.”

There are currently four tournaments in the South American clay court swing, with three ATP 250 events in Argentina and Chile and an ATP 500 currently taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The events in South America are even more sparse on the WTA Tour, with just the one main tour event taking place in Bogota, Colombia.

And although Murray labelled his opinion as ‘unpopular’, the Brit has received lots of support including from Boris Becker, “Why unpopular?!? You’re absolutely right about your opinion Andy! Tennis  should go to countries/continents where tennis is booming…”

Someone who has more invested interest is former top 10 Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, who has previously claimed victory at events in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Schwartzman also responded in support of Murray on X (formerly known as Twitter), “Let ATP Tour know this Andy! Every year they put us less support. Not just because of how the fans support the tournaments. Also how many players we have and we had on the top as u know. We deserve more than this from the ATP. Thanks for your words!”

The final of the Rio Open takes place later today between two Argentines in Sebastian Baez and qualifier Mariano Navone, before the South American event in Santiago, Chile, begins next week.

Inside the baseline…

It is a very valid point made from Andy Murray, with the South American clay court events always providing such roaring atmospheres. Unfortunately it seems that the tours are much more concentrated on the big money deals, with events in the Middle East getting significantly lower attendance figures, but are clearly more profitable.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.