| By Steven Kaplan

Tennis News reports that top ATP touring professionals are giving serious consideration to a player's strike. Top ATP players, including Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray had expected to meet with tour officials during the recent Shanghai Masters, but talks have broken down.

Andy Murray has been particularly vocal in calling for the ATP to "rethink the current tour schedule." The player's union contends that the current tour schedule places too many commitment demands on players and Nadal has said, "there was broad agreement among players over the issue."

I am sympathetic to the player issues, but they could not have picked a worse time to escalate into a strike. Unemployment is holding steady at nine percent in this country, and anti-labor sentiment is on the rise. I'm not sure how fans will react. Even if the tennis community supports this strike (and that is a big "if"), the casual fan, as well as the press, might see this as nothing more than millionaires striking over having to play a little extra tennis. Tennis has always struggled with the perception that it is a country club sport of the rich and entitled. This strike would be a big setback to the game.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.