Djokovic’s PTPA keen to get female players on board

Novak Djokovic said he has spoken to Serena Williams about the PTPA

Novak Djokovic

After extending his winning streak in 2020 to 26-0, Novak Djokovic asserted that his breakaway player body – Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA)—is in dialogue with the female tennis players too and that it is not trying to ‘substitute’ the ATP.

“I’ve spoken to Serena (Williams) about three days ago,” said the World No 1 after his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in the US Open third round on Friday.

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“Also to Sloane (Stephens). Vasek (Pospisil) has spoken to Sloane. I’m going to reach out to more female tennis players.

“We have been talking with the women tennis players in the last five, six days, trying to share as much information with them as possible, and hopefully get their support and get them in as well in big numbers as part of this association.

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“It’s a process. It’s going to take time. We also don’t have majority of the players in top 500 singles, or top 200 doubles at the moment. We are gradually increasing. Our priority is to grow these numbers as much as we can. We have patience. We’re not rushing anywhere.”

Player-only body

Djokovic, who is the co-president of the PTPA along with Pospisil, said that the body was formed to give players official representation and a bigger say.

“For us, we’re not conflictual organization. We feel like we are, first of all, legally allowed to coexist and we should coexist with everyone else,” he said.

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“This is not against ATP, WTA, ITF or any governing body. We are not looking to get into the legal disputes or substitute ATP or anything like that. I feel like we can all coexist in the same ecosystem.

“It’s very important for tennis players, being part of a very global sport, to have their own 100% player-only representation. This is historically now I think second time. The first time back in 1972 when ATP was being formed in the parking lot here actually in New York, and from 1973 you had an Association of Tennis Professionals. Actually was called differently. It was players only.

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“The ATP as we know it today, from 1990, has joined forces with tournaments. Ever since then the way the structure and system works is 50% of the ownership or 50% of the decision making comes on the board from players and 50% from the tournaments.

“Unfortunately most of the times players and tournaments have a different interest. I’m not saying all the time, but most of the time.”

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On the court, Djokovic was once again dominant as he dispatched Struff in an hour and 42 minutes to register his 600th career hard-court win.