Novak Djokovic Leads Formation of New Men’s Tennis Players Association

The new players association, which will attempt to combat a lack of leverage, will noticeably not include female tennis players

Novak Djokovic Union
Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves to Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in their semifinal match during the Western & Southern Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2020.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In response to concerns about player autonomy in tennis, Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil have formed a new breakaway association to represent player interests in the sport, according to a New York Times report. As a result of forming the new association, both players have resigned their leadership roles in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which currently represents players and tournaments alike.

The new group, named the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), looks to give the top players on the tour a bigger seat at the table of negotiations. It will look to represent singles players in the top 500, as well as doubles players in the top 200, according to the New York Times.

The ATP has reportedly already reached out to players to tell them not to join the PTPA group, despite the group saying that it is not a threat to the tour. In a document obtained by the Times, the PTPA said as much:

The goal of the PTPA is not to replace the ATP, but to provide players with a self-governance structure that is independent from the ATP and is directly responsive to player-members’ needs and concerns.

Professional Tennis Players Association

American player John Isner is also reported to be a part of the opening drive for members for the PTPA. None of the Djokovic, Pospisil, Isner group responded to comments, though Pospisil did announce his resignation on Twitter.

Noticeably absent so far from the new association are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Coincidentally, both players expressed their support of merging the men’s and women’s games into one collective unit; while others have also expressed support, the idea came under fire by players from the men’s tour, who felt that the women did not deserve to make as much money as the men.

The PTPA, so far, does not include any women in its collective action, though Pospisil did lead a group across both tours earlier this year, asking for Grand Slam tournaments to provide a higher percentage of revenues for the players. That drive was not acknowledged by the tournaments.

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Read the full story at The New York Times

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