New York, August 30
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and different members of the ATP Player Council spoke out towards a plan put forth by top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil to begin a males’s-only union of types for tennis—bringing the game’s politics into the highlight simply earlier than the US Open.
Also towards the proposal: the ATP males’s tour and the game’s different governing our bodies, together with the WTA girls’s tour and the 4 Grand Slam tournaments.
They issued a joint assertion Saturday saying: “It is a time for even greater collaboration, not division.”
After a gathering Saturday night time, Pospisil tweeted out an image exhibiting a gaggle of male gamers — carrying masks due to the pandemic — standing on a U.S. Open court docket and wrote that “we are excited to announce the beginning of the the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).” The affiliation — Djokovic mentioned it was not a union, though the excellence wasn’t fully clear — “did not emerge to be combative, to disrupt, or to cause any issues within or outside the tennis tour. Simply to unify the players, have our voices heard & have an impact on decisions being made that (affect) our lives & livelihoods,” Pospisil wrote.
In an electronic mail despatched to gamers earlier within the week, Djokovic and Pospisil they might be the preliminary co-presidents of the group, which might even be led by as much as 9 trustees — all gamers.
Unlike athletes in main North American workforce sports activities, tennis gamers will not be represented by a union that collectively bargains with possession about pay and different issues. Each tennis participant is an impartial contractor.
“We are not calling for boycotts. We are not forming parallel tours,” Djokovic mentioned after profitable the Western & Southern Open on Saturday, two days earlier than play begins on the U.S. Open.
“Of course I would love to have Roger and Rafa on board. Of course I would love to have all the players on board. But I understand,” Djokovic mentioned.
“I truly understand that some of them have different opinions and they don’t think the time is right.”
Djokovic has been the president, and Pospisil a member, of the ATP Player Council however each are resigning, as is John Isner.
Andy Murray mentioned Saturday he needs to offer the present ATP management—former participant Andrea Gaudenzi took over as CEO in January—extra time to work.
Murray additionally doesn’t like that the PTPA could be for male gamers solely; there was discuss earlier this 12 months about the potential of merging the ATP and WTA.
Having a gaggle representing women and men would ship “a much more powerful message,” Murray mentioned.
Federer and Nadal joined participant council representatives Kevin Anderson, Jurgen Melzer, Sam Querrey and Bruno Soares in sending a be aware to gamers elevating questions concerning the proposal and saying they’re towards it.
“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,” Nadal tweeted.
“These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united. We all, players, tournaments and governing bodies have to work together. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution.”
Federer quote-tweeted his on-court rival to say he agrees and added: “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.” — AP