Djokovic, Pospisil and other Top Players Look to form a Player’s Association, ATP Issues Statement
From the New York Times:
Frustrated by what they view as a lack of leverage in the sport of men’s tennis, top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil are forming a breakaway body to represent the interests of male players outside of the current structure of the Association of Tennis Professionals, and have resigned their leadership roles in the association’s player council.
Pospisil, a Canadian ranked No. 92 in singles, announced his resignation on Twitter on Friday night, saying that within the current structure of the men’s tennis tour, “it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have any significant impact on any major decisions made by our tour.”
Djokovic, the president of the player council, and John Isner, the highest-ranked American men’s player, also resigned their positions, according to three people familiar with their decisions. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the resignations had not been made public.
Many details about the new group remain vague beyond its name, the Professional Tennis Players Association, and its intention to represent men’s singles players in the top 500 and doubles players in the top 200.
This gets more interesting: Grand Slams, WTA, ATP & ITF all uniting in seeming opposition to creation of new men's player association spearheaded by Djokovic & Pospisilhttps://t.co/hQVhOm3DxX https://t.co/l8M7SLeMyB
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) August 29, 2020
The ATP issued a response on Saturday morning:
ATP Tour News Release 29 August 2020
ATP Statement On Player Representation
The success of the ATP Tour, and its growth into one of the world’s leading sports properties over the past 30 years, has been built upon a true equal partnership between players and tournaments, alongside productive collaboration with the Grand Slams, WTA, and ITF.
The governance structure of the ATP Tour provides players with equal seats at the table on every major decision affecting the circuit. We recognise the challenges that our members face in today’s circumstances, however we strongly believe that now is a time for unity, rather than internal division. We remain unwavering in our commitment to deliver for our players across all areas of our business, ensuring they receive maximum benefit from their years on Tour, and that their voices are heard.
In parallel, we remain committed to working closely with the other governing bodies of tennis as we look to fulfil the true potential of our sport. Only as a unified sport can we truly focus on the fan experience, engage new audiences, and ensure that tennis continues to thrive.
Tennis joint governing bodies' response to ATP statement relating to player representation
— ITF Media (@ITFMedia) August 29, 2020