The Novak Djokovic-led PTPA (Professional Tennis Players Association) has raised quite a stir this Coronavirus-affected season. Now, in an interesting U-turn of events, reports have surfaced that Djokovic and PTPA co-founder Vasek Pospisil have applied to rejoin the ATP Player Council.
Djokovic had resigned from his position as the ATP Player Council President just before the US Open and formed his breakaway player body. It was quite telling at the time that none of the other members of the Big 4 – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray—backed the idea.
Though he copped a lot of criticism for wanting to ‘divide’ tennis with his rebel group, the World No 1 insisted that the PTPA and the ATP could co-exist.
“I understand that there is criticism because people wonder if this is the right move or if it is a way to divide tennis,” Djokovic had said ahead of the ATP Finals in London.
“But for us it is not like that, our value and our essence is to improve.
“We do not want to have an aggressive approach. We want players of all levels to be heard and their problems are taken into account. We have to see how players can benefit from tennis, to be able to participate more and be able to make a living from that.”
Just in case there wasn't enough tennis news tonight, am hearing that Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil – who resigned from ATP Player Council in August (under duress from fellow members) in order to launch the PTPA – are now applying to rejoin the Player Council
— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) November 17, 2020
On Tuesday evening, Simon Briggs of The Telegraph tweeted that Djokovic and Pospisil had reportedly applied to rejoin the ATP Player Council. A new ATP Player Council will be announced on January 1 once all the votes are in by the end of December.
Kevin Anderson, who took over from Djokovic as the ATP Player Council President, had dismissed the idea of PTPA players sitting on the ATP Player Council.
“I feel you can’t sit on the council and then the PTPA,” he had said in October.
“It seems like it’s a bit of a contradictory idea. Within the structure and within the council. I’m the first to say it’s not perfect but you have to believe it, you have to give it a chance.”
Nadal, who is also in London for the ATP Finals, reiterated his views on the breakaway body this week and said that PTPA was ‘unnecessary.’
“Just because they created this organization does not mean that they help tennis more than the other players who believe in the usual structure, within ATP,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said.
“If we have experienced positive situations, it is thanks to the involvement of Roger, mine, but also Novak and Andy because we have always had the concern to ask others what they needed.
“If we compare the income 5, 6, 7 or 8 years ago to today it is clear that we have significantly reduced the gap between the lowest-ranked and the best players.
“We know that we have to keep working on this, but we do not consider that another organization is necessary.”