Many of the men’s players, led by World No 1, Novak Djokovic have come out in support of Vasek Pospisil after the Canadian’s meltdown in Miami.
Pospisil and Djokovic co-founded the hugely controversial Professional Tennis Players Association in August last year. It is purported to be a ‘players only’ body, as opposed to the ATP, where tournaments at 50 per cent stakeholders.
In the run-up to the Miami Open, during an ATP meeting, Pospisil was reportedly yelled at by ATP chief Andrea Gaundenzi. According to Open Court website, “Gaundezi and company really went after him (Pospisil). They called him things like ‘ignorant’ and ‘uneducated.’”
The Canadian was reportedly reduced to tears and was pretty ‘shaken up’ by the meeting when he took court against Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Miami Masters on Thursday.
Pospisil launched a tirade against Gaudenzi during the match, calling the ATP chief, ‘F*king A*hole.’ He later apologized publicly for his on-court behavior.
Players like Djokovic, Milos Raonic, Ivo Karlovic and John Isner have lent their support to their shaken colleague, using the hashtag ‘Players voice’ on twitter.
“Concerning matters at hand, I am not in Miami,” Djokovic wrote.
“However Vasek Pospišil is my good friend and I empathize with him wholeheartedly. Players on tour would agree that he is an individual of the highest integrity who cares about the well being of his fellow competitors.
“I am hopeful players recognize the importance of standing together.”
Raonic chimed in: ‘Player unity is needed now more than ever. Voices need to be heard, respected and acknowledged. Don’t try to silence them, but work with them.”
Unfortunate what happened on court with Pospisil. I was not at the meeting but, from what I heard from players that were there, it’s now more obvious than ever that we need a players only association. #playersvoice #ptpa
— ivo karlovic (@ivokarlovic) March 26, 2021
. @VasekPospisil is a great guy with a huge heart. He has spent countless hours and headaches on behalf of all players. The stress of what you bring onto the court can be overwhelming while under pressure playing. It’s time that the players voices are heard. #playersvoice #PTPA https://t.co/DG3ETQnoiK
— Ryan Harrison (@ryanharrison92) March 26, 2021
We need to start supporting player unity on the ATP Tour. With the events that took place in Miami with our leadership we need more now than ever a #playersvoice time for the players to stand together!!
— Steve Johnson (@SJohnson_89) March 26, 2021
Rajeev, you’re a wise man..only some players voice and although the message is popular there’s no substance behind it..
We can’t forget how much we’ve achieved in recent years by the fact of staying together . https://t.co/59CbqTt6kj
— Feliciano López (@feliciano_lopez) March 26, 2021
The PTPA has maintained that it is not a rebel body and is looking to co-exist in the current ecosystem of tennis. It, however, has not found favour with the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
Legends of the game, like Martina Navratilova, have accused its creators of trying to drive a rift in the game especially when the sport needed a more united front to tackle the havoc wreaked by the pandemic.