Novak Djokovic launches breakaway men’s player union

Professional Tennis Players Association aims to co-exist alongside ATP Player Council

Novak Djokovic has announced the launch of a breakaway men’s player union. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty

Novak Djokovic has announced the launch of a breakaway men’s player union. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty

 

Novak Djokovic has announced the launch of a breakaway men’s player union, despite strong opposition from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

World number one Djokovic and Canadian player Vasek Pospisil are behind theformation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), which they hope can co-exist alongside the ATP Player Council.

The first players to sign up for the PTPA met on Saturday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York, where the US Open begins on Monday.

Around 60 players posed for a photo posted on social media, with Djokovic writing: “After yesterday’s successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972. #PTPA.”

Federer, Nadal and Murray have all spoken out against the idea, while the ATP, WTA, ITF and all four grand slams have also called for unity.

Murray said he would not be signing a letter of support for the PTPA, adding: “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.

“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 on board with it as well. That’s not currently the case.“

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