Novak Djokovic press conference

‘We will do everything in our power to oppose it’ – ATP lash out at Novak Djokovic led PTPA

The ATP has vowed to do ‘everything in its power’ to stop the Novak Djokovic led PTPA from ‘dividing and fragmenting’ tennis, they have said.

Men’s tennis has been undergoing political unrest in recent times, with world number one leading a breakaway players’ union, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), to challenge the ATP.

Djokovic has claimed three quarters of players have expressed support for the PTPA, but they have been unable to convince the ATP the two competing bodies can co-exist.

Talks have reportedly been held, although it does not appear they have gone too well, and they have issued a response to the PTA issuing their own statement on Tuesday saying they wanted to create ‘transparency and fairness’ in tennis.

“Protecting and advancing the interests of players has been a core principle of the ATP since it was founded as a player association in 1972,” The ATP said in a statement.

“In 1990, this was furthered through the formation of the ATP Tour, an equal partnership between players and tournaments.

“Through this, players obtained something unique in sports: an equal voice on every decision in the board room of the Tour.

“Today, ATP management, together with the Board and the ATP Player Council, whose representatives are democratically elected by all players, work week-in and week-out to advance the interests of players.

“This includes the recent development of an ambitious Strategic Plan that has the potential to deliver game-changing benefits to players through strengthened top tier events, 50-50 profit sharing, increased prize money and bonus pool, full transparency of audited tournament financials, raised tournament standards and long-term stability for the Tour.

“This constructive collaboration, which has seen the ATP Tour develop into one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment properties over the past 30 years, underscores our belief that the players’ interests, and those of the Tour as a whole, must and will continue to be protected under ATP governance.

“By contrast, the creation of a separate player entity provides a clear overlap, divides the players, and further fragments the sport.

“Fragmentation has been consistently identified as the single biggest threat to tennis’ growth potential by leading experts, from within and beyond sports, which is something the ATP is currently working to address through the Strategic Plan, as well as through the new T-7 working group, with enhanced collaboration with the WTA, Grand Slams and ITF.

“We also take this opportunity to highlight the numerous benefits associated with players being in good standing with ATP, including annual pension contributions, travel grants, insurance cover, bonus pool payments, player and medical services, and more.

“ATP will continue to do everything in its powers to protect the interest of its members, both players and tournaments, and the many livelihoods that the Tour supports.”

Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil quit the ATP Players’ council last September to create the new organisation.