"If Federer and Nadal made PTPA, he would be celebrating this - Novak Djokovic fans slam 'hater' journalist for questioning PTPA's 'for-profit arm'

Novak Djokovic fans have slammed a prominent tennis journalist over his question of the PTPA
Novak Djokovic fans have slammed a prominent tennis journalist over his question of the PTPA's for-profit arm (Source: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic fans have ridiculed tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg over his bafflement at American hedge fund manager Bill Ackman's involvement in the work of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). Rothenberg questioned the Djokovic-led player association's intentions and claimed that it continues to raise money despite its vague impact on tennis.

Djokovic and Canadian tennis player Vasek Pospisil launched the PTPA at the 2020 US Open. The controversial breakaway association's formation stemmed from the Serb and the Canadian's objections to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on the grounds of players' rights protection.

Since its launch, the PTPA has strived to bridge the disparate gap between players at tennis' highest level and lowly-ranked players who typically struggle to make ends meet. However, recently, Rothenberg voiced his reservations about the association's for-profit arm's links with Ackman after reports surfaced that it had raised $40 million.

"The PTPA having a "for-profit arm" that licensing in cricket and track-and-field is simultaneously baffling yet clarifying about why someone like Bill Ackman is involved. PTPA's impact in tennis is still nebulous, let's say, but they're finding ways to make money nonetheless," Rothenberg wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Ahmad Nassar, PTPA's Executive Director, issued an elaborate response to Rothenberg's post. Nassar explained how the association uses the revenue it generates from its for-profit arm, Winners Alliance.

"The PTPA model emulates other successful players associations globally. The PTPA, a non-profit advocacy organization, works with a for-profit entity called Winners Alliance. The revenue generated by Winners Alliance in tennis goes to (a) players, and (b) fund the advocacy work and programs of the PTPA," read part of Nassar's response to Rothenberg.

Backing Nassar's response, Djokovic's loyal followers took swipes at Rothenberg. One set of the Serb's fans opined that the journalist's stances on various matters in tennis boil down to his bias.

"If Fedal (Federer and Nadal) made PTPA he’d be celebrating this as a significant source of innovation and a way to save tennis players from early retirement," one fan wrote.
"He's horrible; Ben Rothenberg doesn't even cover tennis *the sport.* He's concerned with gossip and trashing the careers of people he "dislikes." He and his ilk - they know who they are - don't even deserve your concern," another fan commented.
"Gosh, you shouldn’t need to explain to this hater but glad that you did. His job is to cause trouble!" another fan chimed in.

Another set of Djokovic fans questioned Rothenberg's credentials as a journalist while siding with Nassar's rebuttal.

"I wouldnt bother catching up with him in person, he's a nasty piece of work. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever as evidenced by years of mudslinging and gossiping about tennis players," wrote one fan.
"Thanks for that Ahmad.So Rothenberg made his post without asking you for comment/ clarification beforehand...?" asked another fan.
"Torch that clown!" another fan commented.

Novak Djokovic co-founded PTPA recently became a member of the World Players Association

Novak Djokovic celebrates his first-round win at the 2024 French Open
Novak Djokovic celebrates his first-round win at the 2024 French Open

The PTPA became the first tennis players' association to become a member of the World Players Association recently. It confirmed the news via an announcement on social media on Thursday, May 16. Co-founder Pospisil, overjoyed with the development, shared a post of his own to celebrate the development.

"Big news for the PTPA! Only one organization per group of athletes is accepted into the World Players Association as the athletes’ representative in each sport. After being thoroughly vetted and meeting their careful set of criteria, the PTPA has just been recognized by the @WorldPlayersUtd as that entity in tennis," Pospisil wrote on X.

Djokovic is currently competing at the French Open. The defending French Open champion sealed his progress to the second round after defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round. He is slated to face Roberto Carballes Baena next.

If the Serb gets the better of Carballes Baena, he will face either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti in the third round.

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