Novak Djokovic is launching a new players association to try to give players a greater voice in the sport.
The world No. 1 says details are still being resolved and points out the players association will need the support of ATP players to be effective.
“We don’t have answers to all the questions right now,” Djokovic said. “We don’t know yet who will be the people who will represent the players. We have a broad outline on what, the platform the association will look like. We’re going to have our trustees, but we are also going to have the annual meetings.
“Of course once we have an indication of some major support that we, as a team, think that we should proceed with this project, then of course we will commence with all the different steps that are about to follow. So right now, we are just trying to get a sense of how many players do really want to join this initiative. Then we will take it from there.”
After yesterday’s successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972. #PTPA pic.twitter.com/q8H0aOdqDl
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 30, 2020
Here’s what fellow ATP players are saying about the new players association.
Roger Federer: “These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it’s critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward.”
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) August 29, 2020
Rafael Nadal: “The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation.”
The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 29, 2020
Andy Murray: “I’m not totally against a player union, player association, but right now there’s a couple of things:
“One is I feel like the current management that are in place should be given some time to implement their vision. “Whether that works out or not would potentially influence me in the future as to which way I would go.
“Also the fact that the women aren’t part of it, I feel like that would send a significantly, just a much more powerful message personally if the WTA were onboard with it, as well. That’s not currently the case. If those things changed in the future, it’s something that I would certainly, certainly consider.”
Dominic Thiem: “I have not so much to say about it because I didn’t read through it. I didn’t sign it because, well, I don’t know about it. I also think that what ATP is doing is pretty good. Of course, they are not perfect. Nobody’s perfect. But in general tennis is in a pretty good place.
“It’s difficult times right now because of the COVID crisis. Tennis is not the only thing which is offended by the COVID crisis.
“I think it’s very important that we are united and not separated. As I said, I’m not involved enough to say too much about it.”
Daniil Medvedev: “Of course, both sides have their arguments. Me, I was never in the players council. Let’s be honest, I was on tour for close to the top for almost two years, all together three, four years. It’s not a very long-term.
“I’m not sure if I’m happy with the structure or not because I don’t really know the structure so well. As I say, I need some time, which I cannot do Saturday before US Open. I need time to see argument from both sides and decide for myself which way I think is the best way for tennis.
“Of course, for myself also, all my young fellows, which is the best way to go, to continue, which structure, what do I want to support for myself. Even if I go with minority, it’s going to be my choice.
“At this moment I don’t have this choice so I cannot tell you anything at all.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I don’t even know what they’re talking about. I’m not following.”
Serena Williams: “I just think it’s a chaotic year. People are understanding and trying new things. I can’t really comment on what I don’t know.”
Photo credit: Adria Tour Facebook