World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has finally responded to the calls for his resignation from the post of ATP Player Council President in the wake of the Adria Tour debacle. The Serb claimed that he had spoken to many players, and that there was no dissatisfaction among them.
In an interview with SportKlub on Tuesday (25th August), Novak Djokovic spoke about a range of topics - the most notable of which was the backlash he received because of the Adria Tour. In addition, he also elaborated on his current neck issues, and the experience of playing in empty stadiums at the Western & Southern Open 2020.
No one in the Council has financial compensation or interest: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is the current President of the ATP Player Council, a group that also includes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson, Yen-Hsun Lu, Vasek Pospisil, John Isner, Bruno Soares, Sam Querrey, Jurgen Melzer and Colin Dowdeswell.
After four players at Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour tested positive for COVID-19, there were questions over his position as President. But Djokovic refused to step down as he felt he had a responsibility to fulfill.
During the interview the Serb pointed out how all of his contributions had been doing was voluntary, and that his work spoke for itself.
"I'd leave the judgment to others about my contribution, but in the last 10 years, as much as I'm more or less in the Players' Council, I've tried to contribute as much as I can," Djokovic said. "No one in the Council has financial compensation or interest – we offer our energy, time and status in the tennis world to improve this sport and the position of the players within it."
Novak Djokovic went on to say that the recent media scrutiny hadn't deterred him from his 'responsibility'. As the World No. 1 he believes he has a duty to give back to the players, and he asserted that he was fully committed to solving the problems in the system.
"At least what I'm dealing with, most of the players I've spoken to, have a lot of support. I also feel a responsibility, I'm still World No. 1, so my presence at the Council has a lot of weight. It's the only way to do something for the interests of the players, although the system is complicated and problematic, there are many different currents and obstacles," Djokovic continued.
Novak Djokovic says playing in an empty stadium will not change his post-match celebration
Novak Djokovic played his first match at the 2020 Western & Southern Open in an empty arena, beating Ricardas Berankis 7-6, 6-4. The 2018 Cincinnati champion said that even though there were no fans in the stadium, he would continue celebrating the way he did before the COVID-19 break - for the sake of the viewers at home.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion later talked about his upcoming battle with Tennys Sandgren, while also giving details on his neck injury.
"He's a hard-base specialist. He's won the Oja-Alijas in a tough match. I hope my neck recovers. We don't know exactly - training, emotions, and coming back, in the last seven days I've started intensively to play sets and points in training," Djokovic said.Published 25 Aug 2020, 22:26 IST