World No 1 Novak Djokovic, along with Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and American John Isner, are leading an effort to form a men’s tennis player association independent of governing body ATP, multiple news outlets reported on Friday.
The body, where Djokovic and Pospisil will initially be co-presidents, will be called Professional Tennis Players Association and will represent only the male players as of now.
The letter stated it is “to solicit support from players to form an association with a mandate to promote, protect and represent the interests of its players ... and protect the future of tennis.”
“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,” the email further said, as seen on tennis.com.
It is not clear whether it will function as traditional player union as of yet. It was also reported that ATP leaders have urged players not to support the body. The three aforementioned players have resigned from their posts in the ATP Player Council, where the Serb is the president, according to sources quoted by the The New York Times.
Pospisil made his resignation public on Twitter saying: “It has become clear that, as a player council member within the current structure of the ATP, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have any significant impact on any major decisions made by our tour.”
Djokovic, who is playing the Western & Southern Open ahead of the US Open in New York, has not made any official comment and didn’t talk to the press after reaching the final, due to what the tournament said are fitness reasons. The top seed needed a couple of medical time outs in his three-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals.
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