Question: Do you think that the huge prize money involved in professional tennis is ruining the game?

Good professional players have to stop being so concerned about money. It is not true that money is necessary to inspire great players. Kramer, Gonzalez and many others were great players, but they didn't compete for such prizes.

The standard of tennis has definitely improved compared with the past. Today's great players are far better than those in previous generations. But we cannot say that today's players are taking the sport more seriously because of the prize money. This higher standard would have come into existence even if there had been no prize money. And these same players would be far better if they were thinking only of winning and not also of the prize money. It is not that money has made them aggressive. No, it has actually ruined their capacities.

Before they even start to play, the players are thinking of money-power rather than the beauty and the divinity of the game. They have forgotten about the joy of tennis. Money-power also takes away the joy of the spectators. Thousands of people go to a match to see the capacities of two individuals and to enjoy the game. But sometimes when they think of the thousands of dollars the players are getting, they become jealous. These negative forces from the spectators are entering into the players. Then, this same jealousy-force the players send to other players. Let us say a player is not participating in a particular tournament. When be thinks of the huge amount of money the winner is going to get, he immediately sends his jealousy-power. So, wrong forces are moving all about in the tennis-world.

For so many years Hillary and others were trying to climb up Mount Everest. They failed and failed, but finally Hillary did it. What kind of money did he get? He didn't get any money. One hundred or two hundred years ago people didn't get any money for doing these things. What they cared about was the expedition and their own capacity. Football players are not making as much money as the tennis stars are making. Still, their standard is going up! But in tennis, money talks. I have not seen a single player who, in the back of his mind, is not thinking about money rather than the beauty of the game or the perfection of his own capacity. These players could play much better if they were not trying to become millionaires.

Sri Chinmoy, I play tennis every day.First published by Agni Press in 1994.

This is the 986th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

Notice:

If you are displaying what you've copied on another site, please include the following information, as per the license terms:


by Sri Chinmoy
From the book I play tennis every day, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

Close »