21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, World No 2 Ons Jabeur and six other players are set to form the first executive committee of the Professional Tennis Players Association – a breakaway organisation that was first unveiled in 2020. The organisation was formed as a means to increase the power of players and take it away from the ATP and the WTA.
Co-founder Vasek Pospisil joins the committee as well along with Paula Badosa, John Isner, Hubert Hurkacz, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Saisai Zheng. The PTPA is not a union since tennis players are independent contractors and not employees of the WTA and ATP – but the role of the organisation is said to be similar to that of a player union.
“We are grateful to have this extraordinarily accomplished and diverse group of women and men serve on our first player executive committee,” Ahmad Nassar, the PTPA’s executive director, said in a statement. “These individuals represent some of the strongest and most passionate voices in professional tennis, and they will have a profound impact on our efforts at the PTPA to serve all players.”
Djokovic said that he believed that the ATP and his new organisation could exist and this wasn’t an instance where they would call for boycotts or parallel tours.
His co-founder Pospilsil spoke about the need for an organisation such as this and how tennis’ status quo needed to be challenged.
“There’s every indicator out there now that this will be a huge moment for our sport,” Pospisil told Reuters. Every player that we have on there is so respected, very well liked, intelligent. They’ll be huge assets and we’re very lucky that they’ve joined.” He added, “Ultimately, I could see why they [current bodies] would want to keep the status quo. It’s only fair and right that players have their association just as most other sports do.”
The organisation, on their website, put the five tenets of their purpose. The statement said the PTPA wanted to ‘advocate on behalf of tennis players globally’, ‘obtain players’ fair share of the business of tennis and terms of participation’ and ‘advocate for, and contribute to, the best vision and structure of tennis globally’.
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