French Open: Jamie Murray criticises French Tennis Federation for distribution of prize money and hotel bubbles

Jamie Murray has criticised the French Tennis Federation for its treatment of doubles players and lack of prize money at Roland Garros.

Had Murray lost his first-round doubles match on Tuesday, he would have received just 5,750 euros (approximately £5,000) in prize money, compared to 60,000 euros (over £51,600) for first-round losers in the singles.

Overall doubles prize money is down by nearly a quarter compared to last year’s tournament while singles prize money has dropped by just six per cent.

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“I think it’s really sh***y, to be honest,” Murray said. “It’s the first time I think ever that the Grand Slams have gone away from the distribution of prize money, which I think sets a dangerous precedent for the doubles game.

“We’re already coming to these tournaments and the ratio is like 88-12 (per cent in favour of singles), 89-11, 90-10. What more can we give up?

“Now I’m playing this tournament and I’ve got to win five matches to get to a Grand Slam final playing against the best players in the world in order to make the same as a guy who comes and loses in the first round of the singles.

“I don’t think that’s right. I’ll never think that’s right. I think the French Tennis Federation need to know that that’s not right.”

The FFT has been contacted for comment.

Murray also highlighted his unhappiness with the hotel that doubles players are required to stay in as part of coronavirus protocols, describing it on Twitter as “absolute toilet”.

After a first-round victory with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares over British pair Dominic Inglot and Luke Bambridge, Murray said: “If this was normal times and you could choose your hotel, no one’s staying at that hotel. I get that you can’t stay at the Ritz with 500 people but, for me, it’s not a great set-up.”

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Murray admitted he has struggled with life stuck in sterile bubbles, which will continue when he goes home for the grass-court season despite living five minutes from Wimbledon.

“I’m doing better than Bruno,” he said. “It’s just been going on so long now and it’s just frustrating. You can’t get away from it. You play your match and you go back to the hotel and you just sit there and stare at the walls and think about the match because there’s nothing else to do.

“You can’t go for dinner with your friends. You can’t fly home normally because it’s just difficult to fly, it’s bloody expensive to go home now because you have got to pay for COVID tests.

“It’s not been that much fun recently but it’s obviously harder if you lose and you’re not winning matches, which I haven’t been doing.”

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