Novak Djokovic's PTPA shares details of first player meet of 2023: "First time in the history of tennis we will have 100% player-only representation"
The Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil-founded PTPA conducted its first player meet of 2023 in Melbourne during the Australian Open.
Moreover, the organization made a significant announcement on January 11 by revealing the first-ever executive committee members, which included Paula Badosa, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Ons Jabeur, Sasai Zheng, John Isner and Huber Hurkacz in addition to its founding duo.
Speaking at the meeting, the 22-time Grand Slam champion reiterated that for the first time in the history of the sport, there will be an organization that had 100% player representation -- the core belief why he started the PTPA in the first place.
"This is the first time in the history of tennis that we will have 100% player-only representation in our organization," Novak Djokovic said during the meeting in Melbourne, snippets of which has now been released in a video by the organization on social media.
Vasek Pospisil reiterated the importance of having a players’ association, remembering how such organizations have benefitted athletes from other sports. The Canadian tennis player called the Melbourne meeting the beginning of a turning point in tennis.
“Having a players’ association in tennis is just as important, if not more important than some of the other sports and every other sport has benefited tremendously,” Posipisil said, adding, “Day 1 of hopefully, you know, a turning point for the history of our sport.”
According to the PTPA website, various crucial points were discussed during the Novak Djokovic-led event, including the lack of consistent income for the lower-ranked players. The earning potential for higher-ranked players such as Carlos Alcaraz was also found to be significantly lower when compared to lower tier players from other sporting leagues such as the NFL, NBA and MLB.
“There are so many opportunities out there for tennis to monetize and for it to be shared amongst all the players,” Bethanie Mattek-Sands observed. “It doesn’t matter what your ranking is, singles doubles, I mean really, we’re one of the most popular sports in the world and we haven’t capitalized on that.”
"Sounds like a simple request, but it has never been the case" - Novak Djokovic-founded PTPA’s Executive Director Ahmad Nassar on tennis failing to provide a living to athletes
The Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil-founded PTPA announced Ahmad Nassar as their first Executive Director in August 2022.
Nassar presided over the 2023 event in Melbourne and appreciated the players for teaming up for the committee, stating that athletes from various other sports were equally thrilled by the significant step in the furthering of tennis. He further revealed that their support went beyond just well-wishes as they helped the association draft its principles.
“There’s a whole world of players associations from every sport representing men and women and they are thrilled that you all are taking this step,” Ahmed Nassar said. “They want to support us. They helped us with drafting these principles and just structure and how we think about things.”
Ahmad further spoke about his primary vision of making tennis a loss-free sport, which, despite being a basic demand, was out of reach for the majority of the players.
“Anybody who is world class enough to be a professional tennis player, can say, ‘Ok, I at least know I’m not going to lose money playing tennis.’ Which sounds like a simple request, but it has never been the case,” he said.
How did Novak Djokovic meet Jelena Ristic? All about the most admired couples in tennis