Top tennis players join Novak Djokovic in the PTPA breakaway movement

Novak Djokovic, pictured here alongside Ons Jabeur and Paula Badosa on the tennis court.

Ons Jabeur and Paula Badosa have joined Novak Djokovic’s separate tennis authority, the PTPA. Photo: Getty

An eight-man squad including superstars Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa and Hubert Hurkacz have joined Novak Djokovic to join the squad. Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) executive committee. Djokovic came up with the idea for the PTPA in 2020 and resigned from the ATP Players Council to form a players-only association – separate from tennis’ current governing bodies.

Along with Canadian player Vasek Pospisil, Djokovic has shaped the players’ breakaway body in an effort to change the world tennis system and advocate for better rights for all players from top to bottom. Djokovic and Pospisil said the PTPA aims to better protect the interests of all players It received stiff opposition in time.

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On Wednesday, the PTPA announced that a group of eight players had formed the first executive committee of the PTPA. Djokovic and Pospisil were joined by Jabeur, Badusa, Hurkacz, John Isner, Bethany Mattek-Sands and Zeng Saisay.

It is an important step for the maverick body after the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have spoken out against ‘dividing’ the tennis world during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jabeur is ranked No. 2 in the world for women and finished runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

Hurkacz is ranked 10 in the world for men and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2021, while Badosa is ranked 13 in the world and is a quarter-finalist in the French Open. Isner was previously ranked as high as the world number 8, while Matic-Sands won nine Grand Slam titles – five in women’s and four in mixed.

“This organization was founded on the premise that every player must be respected, protected and their rights guaranteed, and the PTPA Principles will be our compass to ensure we adhere to these standards,” Pospisil said in a statement. Yahoo Sport Australia. “PTPA will only thrive through the collective voice, strength and solidarity of players. We are ready to meet both future challenges and opportunities to advance the rights of all players.

“We are all unequivocally committed to representing every player during this incredibly important time in the sport of tennis,” said Mattek-Sands. “The sports entertainment environment is constantly evolving, and I have a particular focus on supporting and uplifting women through the serious pursuit of and creative opportunities with a female-centred approach.” .

“This is also a strong focus for PTPA, represented by our organizing principles and for me personally. I’m really excited about making an impact and pioneering change.”

Hubert Hurkacz and Novak Djokovic, pictured here at the ATP Finals in 2021.

Hubert Hurkacz and Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in 2021 (Photo by Valerio Benicino/Getty Images for ATP)

PTPA Executive Director Ahmed Nassar said: “We are grateful to have such an incredible and diverse group of women and men serving on our first Players Executive Committee. These individuals represent some of the strongest and most passionate voices in professional tennis, and they will have a profound impact on our efforts at PTPA to serve All players.”

The PTPA also unveiled a list of five guiding principles “designed to protect, respect and guarantee the fundamental rights of players”. They include:

  • Collective action and advocacy on behalf of tennis players worldwide

  • Players get a fair share of the tennis business and terms of participation

  • Strictly improve and protect the rights of tennis players

  • Protect the welfare of tennis players and protect players from abuse

  • Defending and contributing to the best vision and structure of tennis globally

PTPA received strong opposition from ATP

In 2021, the ATP issued a strongly worded statement after the PTPA came to light. She said: “Protecting and promoting the interests of players has been a fundamental principle of the ATP since its foundation as a players’ association in 1972.

In 1990, this was further reinforced by the formation of the ATP Tour, an equal partnership between players and tournaments. In doing so, players achieved something unique in the sport: an equal voice in all decisions affecting the tour.

On the contrary, creating a separate entity provides a clear overlap, divides players and further fragments tennis. Fragmentation has been consistently identified as the greatest threat to tennis’ growth potential by leading experts inside and outside the sport, something the ATP is currently working to address. “.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has also criticized the PTPA Previously, saying: “He (Novak Djokovic) thinks he’s doing the right thing. You’re trying to divide us more when we should be trying to get the game together and trying to figure out how to play tournaments without people getting sick and dying from Covid. Let’s stay with this problem instead of creating one.” We don’t need it.”

Djokovic recently said the PTPA should exist “because players don’t have 100 percent representation in the tennis world. With the federation they do. Hopefully more players will show willingness to understand what the PTPA can do for them.”

“It’s a process that’s going to take longer just because we don’t get credibility from other governing bodies, so it’s going to take longer, but we’re going to be there, and it’s something that we hope will continue for many decades to come.”

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