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Tension in the Tennis Scene

Novak Djokovic is unsatisfied with the ATP and its way of handling the crisis caused by the Corona pandemic. Besides, he feels that the ATP does not consider the interests of the players sufficiently. Based on this dissatisfaction, the Serb decided to create a new union. The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) will be led by himself as president. 

Novak, who used to be the president of the ATP Players’ Council, resigned from that role, to act as the leader of the PTPA. Just before the start of the US Open, the founding of the PTPA was announced. The founding photo of the new union taken last Saturday shows around 50 renegades.

The initiated revolution by Djokovic is criticised by some players, like Nadal or Federer.  Nadal wrote on Twitter, “It’s time for unity, not division.”

Roger Federer commented on Rafa’s tweet with, “These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe that it is very important for us to stand together as players.” 

The tennis organisations ATP, WTA, the ITF and the four Grand Slam tournaments reacted with a joint statement. It says “Now more than ever, we need cooperation and strong relationships, and we fully support the ATP in its role of representing the best interests of the players in this process. This is a time for even closer cooperation, not for division”.

But there are also advocates for the new union, like the German tennis player, Zverev. He hopes that a few things will change. 

It seems that the timing for the announcement of the new union was not randomly picked. Nadal and Federer did not travel to the US as they won’t be playing at the US Open. Federer recovers from knee surgery, and Nadal prefers to prepare for the French Open at the end of September. Since the Corona crisis, both players are advocating for a joint umbrella organisation for men and women tennis. As both are missing in New York, they have had only limited influence on the creation of the new union, PTPA.

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