Djokovic opens the door of his association to female players: "It's not just for men"

Djokovic says he and Pospisil have spoken with Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and other WTA tennis players and complained that the Grand Slams refused to negotiate an increase in awards.


Novak Djokovic has so much left over at this US Open, that apart from going over each of his rivals, he also has time to continue with the efforts of his new players association, the Professional Players Tennis Association (PTPA), with the help of the Canadian Vasek Pospisil, who is also still alive in the box and plays this Saturday against Roberto Bautista. In other things, the leaders of this project that was born outside the ATP are talking these days to include the players of the WTA, one of the aspects that had been questioned when the creation of the PTPA was known. This was confirmed by the Serbian in the press conference after his victory against the German Struff on Friday in the third round.

"Right now we are prioritizing bringing together as many players as possible, both men and women, because there has been a lot of talk about it being a men-only organization or association, and it is not true. We have been talking to the players in the last five or six days, trying to share as much information as possible with them and, hopefully, get their support and get them involved a lot as part of this partnership, "explained Nole, who clarified that the discussions actually started time and that caused a "negative" response from the Grand Slams. "I spoke with Serena about three days ago. Also with Sloane. Vasek has spoken with her. In fact, the two of them last year, before the US Open, brought together about 70% of the top-100 singles, both men and women. , to collect their signatures and approval for legality and to place negotiations with the Grand Slams over an increase in prize money and other things in the hands of a Canadian law firm. The firm sent a letter to the USTA and other bodies. rectors who govern the Grand Slams, but there was no response from all of them. The response we got from some was negative, it was negative. They did not agree to sit at the table and discuss with the players, both ATP and WTA about that. "

That is why, Djokovic argues, they decided to form the PTPA. "This year we met again, but this time we wanted to do it in another way in order to have more credibility, legitimately have an organization and association that, hopefully, in the future can count on the respect in the ecosystem by all the organs of government and being able to have and fight for a place on the table in decision-making, the most important decisions of our sport ". Novak warns that support for the association is not yet majority and firm on the circuit. "It's a process. It's going to take time. We also don't have most of the players in the top 500 singles or in the top 200 doubles at the moment. We are gradually increasing support. Our priority is to increase these numbers as much as we can. We have patience. We don't rush. " And he reiterates that it is not a war: "We are not going against the ATP. We do not want to close ourselves to anyone. We are not a conflictive organization. We feel that, first of all, we are legally authorized to coexist and that we should coexist with all the I think this only adds an added value to the players and only to the entire tennis ecosystem ".

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