Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

“The system isn’t working well” – Novak Djokovic slams tennis organisers as he fights to ‘break the monopoly’

Novak Djokovic says that ‘no-one is listening’ as he works for a better financial structure for professional tennis players

Djokovic helped form the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) a few years ago alongside other professional players and leading figures from the world of business as he attempted to create a more evenly spread remuneration system and to influence the way prize money and financial rewards are distributed in professional tennis.

Tennis differs from other sports in that many tournament’s are autonomously run organisations who have complete control over how they remunerate the players. Most notably the four Grand slams have the freedom to pay whatever they want to tennis players and Djokovic feels that this system needs to change so that players can be a more intrinsic part of this decision making process

Djokovc was speaking to Serbian media Sport Klub when he said,

“You will never find stories in the media about how many people make a living out of this sport. Everyone is talking about how much Djokovic, Federer and Nadal make. On the other hand, nobody is mentioning that tennis is the third most popular sport globally, but it is outside the top ten when it comes to players’ income, compared to other sports. Barely top 350-400 players (on both Tours) can make a living out of this sport. Let me see how much money makes the 150th best player in any other globally renowned sport.

“PTPA and everything we are trying to do is for the benefit of those women and men who are trying to have their voice heard, but nobody is listening: elite is always going to look after the elite, that is how it goes. But there is a kid from Serbia trying to make a difference.

“I respect the ATP and the structure, I am a part of it and I have made a living out of ATP tournaments, along with the Grand Slams. I try to contribute in my own way to the progress of the ATP Tour, I am aware of that role of mine. On the other hand, it is not a secret that this system is not working well for the players. We need to find a way for more players to be able to make a living out of tennis, we have to do better and we have to speak about it publicly more often. I never had a problem with it, because otherwise nobody would be talking.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.