Novak Djokovic has been nothing short of relentless when it comes to his form on the court this year. Boasting of a 26-1 W-L record so far in 2020, the Serb has made sure that his name stands above all others.
But in addition to his on-court exploits, the World No. 1 has also made the headlines with his off-court adventures - most recently the creation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). Novak Djokovic seems extremely determined for his breakaway player association to not just see the light of day, but also bloom into a healthy and functioning organization.
Speaking after his win against Salvatore Caruso in the opening round of the Rome Masters, the Serb elaborated upon his plans for the PTPA. Djokovic also maintained that while he was happy to co-exist with ATP and its president Andrea Gaudenzi, there was a need for the players to be represented in a better way.
There are nearly 200 players who have signed our proposal: Novak Djokovic
One of the pertinent issues raised by the ATP and a few others was the possibility of the PTPA boycotting the Andrea Gaudenzi-led organization. It was also expected that Novak Djokovic's rebel association would mostly be at odds with the ATP, given that the Serb has openly expressed displeasure against their methods in the past.
Novak Djokovic has, however, quashed those speculations by putting forth the seemingly docile intentions of the PTPA. The Serb recently had a conversation with ATP supremo Andrea Gaudenzi, with whom he claims to share a ‘transparent’ and ‘honest relationship’. Djokovic also made it clear that the PTPA does not intend to fight with or boycott the ATP.
“I met Andrea Gaudenzi during the players' meeting two days ago, for two and a half hours,” Djokovic said. "We have no problem between us, we are very transparent, there is an honest relationship between us both, I respect him a lot, he is the president of ATP. No, we don't want to fight with them, we never talked about boycotting or separating or anything similar.”
Novak Djokovic has repeatedly stressed that the basis of forming the PTPA was to protect the interest and rights of the players on tour. Maintaining that status quo, the Serb insisted that his idea was less about breaking away and more about building a healthier eco-system, especially for the less fortunate (lower-ranked) players.
Djokovic further revealed that 200 players had already signed the proposal for the PTPA and that things were moving forward.
“We want to work together. There are nearly 200 players who have signed our proposal,” Djokovic added. “The Players Association is moving forward, it is very important for us to feel represented and to bring a new idea to ATP. We don't want to fragment anything, but we want and need an association that represents us. That's all.”Published 16 Sep 2020, 23:51 IST