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'Disorganized at best' - Novak Djokovic's PTPA slammed for exclusion of women

Novak Djokovic (L) is the head of the newly-formed PTPA
Novak Djokovic (L) is the head of the newly-formed PTPA
ANALYST
Modified 31 Aug 2020, 01:39 IST
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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been making headlines again because of his idea to form a new players' association. Djokovic resigned as the ATP Player Council President on Saturday and then officially announced the creation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

Council members John Isner and Vasek Pospisil were the first two players to join Novak Djokovic, after which a few more players came out to show their support too.

Interestingly, however, there is not a single women's player present in the PTPA. And that that has drawn a fair bit of criticism towards the Serb and the rest of the players in the new union.

On Sunday Vasek Pospisil issued a statement via Twitter on the issue, suggesting that a conversation with women's players was ongoing. But former British doubles No. 1 Sarah Borwell gave a scathing reply to the Canadian, saying that the PTPA was 'ego driven'.

The Chief Executive of Young Women's Trust and the co-founder of Activate Fund, Sophie Walker, also accused Novak Djokovic of focusing only on men's tennis by forming this association. She referred to a past statement made by the 2020 Australian Open winner and wrote:

"Djokovic, who disagrees with a proposal to pay women tennis players as much as men, is setting up a men-only tennis union to protect their interests. Djokovic's net worth is $220 million."

Andy Murray refuses to join Novak Djokovic's PTPA

Andy Murray did not sign the PTPA agreement
Andy Murray did not sign the PTPA agreement
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Former two-time Wimbledon winner Andy Murray has also refused to join the PTPA at the moment. While Murray is not against Novak Djokovic's idea, he gave two reasons for not signing the agreement.

"I won't be signing it today. I'm not totally against a player union, player association, but right now, there's a couple of things: One is I feel like the current management that are in place should be given some time to implement their vision. Whether that works out or not would potentially influence me in the future as to which way I would go," Murray told the reporters before US Open 2020.

Novak Djokovic has clarified that he has no intention of disrupting the ATP tour with his big move, and that he only wants to give the lower-ranked players a platform to let their voices be heard. Although Murray favors that, he feels that including the female players would send a 'more powerful message.'

"Also the fact that the women aren't part of it, I feel like that would send a significantly - well, just a much more powerful message personally if the WTA were onboard with it, as well. That's not currently the case," the Scot added.

Dominic Thiem's manager and ATP board member Herwig Straka, however, blasted Novak Djokovic for the whole idea, saying that the PTPA made no sense. It will be interesting to see whether this new association continues to divide opinion in the coming days, or if Djokovic gets enough support to make it a viable initiative.

Published 31 Aug 2020, 01:39 IST
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