The on-court rivalry between Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has long been witnessed and enjoyed by tennis fans all over the world. However, recent developments have prompted the trio to take their battles off the court - which some believe could engulf the sport in a bitter feud.
Ever since news came in of Novak Djokovic’s resignation from the ATP Player Council, there has been substantial talk about the formation of an independent players union. However, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have thrown their weight behind the ATP and discarded the idea of a new players association.
Both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have let their views known via the platform of Twitter. This will undoubtedly come as a huge boost to ATP, WTA, ITF and all of the others who are against Novak Djokovic’s idea.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal join forces to oppose Novak Djokovic’s plan
Novak Djokovic, in an attempt to improve the condition of the players on the ATP tour, has called for the formation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). This new body would attempt to bring more parity among the players even at the bottom of the rankings, and improve the health of men’s tennis as a whole.
Rafael Nadal is not one to mince words when he wishes to take a stand regarding important affairs. And he hasn’t done so on this occasion either.
Nadal and Roger Federer are still members of the ATP Players Council, which was till very recently presided over by Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard, through his tweet, emphasized on the importance of unity during such trying times.
For Nadal, separation is not a ‘solution’ to any problem.
“The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation,” wrote Nadal.
“These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united. We all, players, tournaments and governing bodies have to work together. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution,” he continued.
Soon after that Roger Federer came to the support of his good friend Rafael Nadal by endorsing his tweet. Federer also reiterated the importance of standing ‘united’ during such difficult times for tennis and the world at large.
"I agree Rafael Nadal. These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it’s critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward," wrote Federer.
A number of players have since joined hands with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to stand against Novak Djokovic’s idea. Among them are Kevin Anderson, Jurgen Melzer, Sam Querrey and Bruno Soares, all of whom are members of the ATP Player Council.
These four players, together with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, penned a letter to all the ATP players posing forth several questions regarding the formation of the PTPA.
The most hard-hitting of those questions was the very first one, which asked about the consequences if ATP-run tournaments went against the PTPA. The full letter can be read in the post below.