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Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022

Exclusive: Respected coach believes ATP & WTA should work together as Novak Djokovic announces PTPA committee


Novak Djokovic, and Vasek Pospisil founded The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) in 2019 with the aim of representing the best interests of players and addressing the shortcomings of the current structure led by the ATP, WTA, and ITF.

Since its establishment four years ago, the organisation has been vocal about a wide range of issues faced by players, from prize money to player health and wellness.

Today, the PTPA have announced their next step with six players, two male and four female, joining Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil on the committee. The group are headlined by WTA No.2 Ons Jabeur and ATP No.11 Hubert Hurkacz, as well as Paula Badosa, John Isner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Saisai Zheng. The eight individuals represent seven nations, and have a collective 124 singles titles and 52 doubles titles.

“This organisation was founded on the belief that every player must be respected, protected and guaranteed their rights, and the PTPA Principles will serve as our compass to ensure we live up to those standards. The PTPA will thrive only through collective voice and the strength and solidarity of the players. We are prepared to face both the challenges and opportunities ahead to advance the rights of all players,” said Pospisil on the announcement.

There have been calls for a while for tennis to be more united, and while British tennis coach David Felgate believes this is important, he does not think that the logistics allow for this to happen all year round.

“At certain events the men’s and women’s combination clearly works, there are big venues, great places to play and it is great for the customer. I don’t think you can do it across the board, because if you think about indoor tennis it is hard enough to just have a men’s or women’s tournament. Where they can it is great to be aligned, but I don’t see it being one tour same tournaments every week,” Felgate said in an exclusive interview with Tennishead.

He added, “Coming together at the top I can see more working together, but you have so many commercial partners getting involved and at some point, something has to stop them coming together. You know, would a year-end championship’s both the men and the women coming together be spectacular? And yes, I think it would and I thoroughly enjoy the diversity of them both being together, but I don’t think you can have it all the time based on the facilities and venues.”

Felgate spoke to exclusively to Tennishead on a number of important topics in both professional and amateur tennis and you can enjoy the whole interview here:

 

Felgate is a former professional tennis player, with a top ranking of 301, and has a career highlight of playing against Ivan Lendl on Court One at Wimbledon. Following retirement, Felgate moved onto coaching and has had long stints with the likes of Tim Henman, and Donna Vekic. He now heads up the JTC Tennis Academy with ASICS as their clothing and shoe sponsor.

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