Tennis: Stakhovsky on Federer’s starring role in increasing prize money

Last week, the ATP Tour announced a $37.5 million increase in total compensation at the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour level to $217.9 million for the 2023 season, an all-time record. This was also the largest single-year increase in player compensation in its history. The issue of increasing prize money on the tennis tour has been a focus area for several years now.

In the new book, The Roger Federer Effect, by Tennis Majors contributor Simon Cambers and Swiss writer Simon Graf, Sergiy Stakhovsky says the vast increases in prize money over the past decade or more can be put down in large part to one man, Roger Federer.

“If it had not been for Federer [and Nadal] I doubt we would have been able to push it – Stakhovsky

Stakhovsky famously beat Federer at Wimbledon in 2013 but also spent time with the Swiss when they were both part of the ATP Player Council. That was also the year the players secured a huge increase in prize money at the slams.

Interviewed for the book before he returned home to Ukraine to fight for his country against the invading Russia, Stakhovsky says it was thanks to Federer’s gravitas that the deal was done.

“It was extremely good to have him because it’s one thing having a Sergiy Stakhovsky or a Gilles Simon on the Council, and another when you have Roger Federer,” Stakhovsky says.

“It makes a lot of difference when he is negotiating or he is making a case. He was essential in terms of the prize money increases. We were going through this topic for a number of years, we had a pretty harsh time and we had a very good, solid background of the players who were willing to do something about it.

‘He got the deal because he said, “we can either do the deal now, or you can go and talk to Gilles Simon and Sergiy Stakhovsky”. It was kind of funny.’

Sergiy Stakhovsky on Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Sergiy Stakhovsky Wimbledon 2013
Tennis Mag/Panoramic

“And yet if it had not been for Roger and Rafa [Nadal], I doubt we would have been able to push it. I remember Roger calling us and saying we’d got the big [rise], then later on we understood why we got it. He got the deal because he said, ‘we can either do the deal now, or you can go and talk to Gilles Simon and Sergiy Stakhovsky’. It was kind of funny.”

In the book, Stakhovsky also discusses his famous win over Federer at Wimbledon, the impact it had on him and shares many interactions he enjoyed with the 20-times Grand Slam champion throughout his career.

The Roger Federer Effect is published by Pitch Publishing and is available to buy on Amazon and in all good bookshops, via this link.

Tennis: Stakhovsky on Federer's starring role in increasing prize money

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