Matteo Berrettini thinks tennis players should not be put in a position where they have to provide financial aid to fellow professionals.
The Italian world number eight said it should be the responsibility of those governing the sport.
World number one Novak Djokovic had urged players to contribute to a fund set up by the sport’s governing bodies to help the lower-ranked professionals.
These professionals are those affected by the tennis shutdown which began in March and will continue at least until the end of July.
“I took a moment to reflect on my priorities, not because I don’t respect the other players, but because I believe that no player —- in any kind of sports —- should be put in the position of helping another player financially,” Berrettini said.
“I think that this responsibility belongs to the federations —- ITF, ATP, WTA —- They are the ones who make tournaments happen, and we, the players, pay them back with our performances.
“They have to take care of us. The real problem is deeper.”
The governing bodies recently raised over six million dollars to help the lower level players during the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Such players are those who depend solely on tournament winnings to earn their living.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has said it is working on additional measures, including a new relief fund.
This is to help players ranked between 501 and 700, and are not covered under other relief programmes.
World number three Dominic Thiem had earlier rejected the notion that top tennis players should chip in to help the lower-ranked competitors.
He said he felt there were sections of society that needed more urgent help.
“We need to invest money in a different way in order to help lower-ranked players,” the 24-year-old Berrettini said. “Personally, I prefer to help other more specific causes.
“I spoke with Djokovic and he told me `don’t worry Matteo, the donation is not mandatory. It’s something that you can agree on if you feel like it. If you prefer to buy masks for hospitals like Spallanzani or helping families in need, I respect you’.
“That’s an important message, it should be spread outside of our players’ circle.”(Reuters/NAN)