Novak Djokovic is the reigning world number one, his actions carry considerable weight in tennis. Djokovic prevailed yet again by dismantling Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Western & Southern Open finals. He also divided the tennis world by breaking away with the ATP to form the PTPA (Professional Tennis Players Association). On a fateful Saturday afternoon, therefore, Djokovic divides and conquers at the Western & Southern Open.
The Western & Southern Open final
The final was a foregone conclusion, and for all that most, except Raonic and fans, cared, the organizers could have handed Djokovic the trophy before the match. Milos getting away with a set, however, was more of a surprise than Novak winning the match.
The breaking away from the ATP to join the PTPA was a shocker!
The triumph in the final, however, eclipsed Novak’s announcement to resign from the ATP players council to join the PTPA! An action which, many believe, would divide the tennis world in these troubled times.
Djokovic was sighted in front of the photo, posted by the Candian Vasik Pospisil, of the players on board. Vasik himself abandoned the ATP Players Council in favor of the new association led by the Serb.
“After today’s successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972,” Pospisil wrote on Twitter.
Djokovic it appears spearheaded the breakaway faction
Novak is not only the member but creator of the breakaway faction. He saw nothing wrong, inappropriate, or untimely with the creation of the PTPA.
Also read – Novak’s Adria Tour
“I have to say that this is not a new idea,” he told reporters after winning the Western & Southern Open.
“This hasn’t been something that came out of the blue. This has been a project for many players and many different generations over the last 20-plus years.”
“We are one of the few global sports that doesn’t have any player organisation, player-only, I must say, organisation or association,” Novak added.
“That has been the subject of discussion for, you know, also I think a wish for many players for many decades now.”
“I have read in the letter from ATP, that they think that ATP cannot co-exist with the association. I have to respectfully disagree. Legally we are 100% safe and we are allowed to form the player association. This is not a union,” he said.
“This is player association. So we are not calling for boycotts. We are not forming parallel tours.”
And we, armed with the knowledge of human nature and tennis history, respectfully disagree with the notion that two mega egos can exist peacefully in one room.
Some unknown and count for nothing pros were not in favor of the PTPA
Nadal was the first to criticize the move to create the new faction and called for unity in these times.
“The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation,” said the Spaniard.
Roger Federer supported Nadal’s opinion and sought unity too.
“I agree @RafaelNadal. These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it’s critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward,” tweeted Roger.
Murray held back support because PTPA lacks women representation. And, Dan Evan, like Nadal and Roger, opposed the timing of the move.
The players, therefore, appear divided and unsure of the PTPA’s purpose and powers.
Former world number 1 Yevgeny Kafilnekov did not appear too thrilled of the move either. He claimed this wasn’t the first attempt for a players council.
“Look! We had have gone through in the past (last i remember in 2002), and it didn’t work. This new development will make so much complication for everyone, including players themselves. Better stay together my opinion #ATP,” Kafilnekov tweeted.
Djokovic divides and conquers
Whatever the final outcome, one thing, however, appears certain; in tennis Djokovic divides and conquers at will. And, with this masterstroke, he may even escape Nadal’s and Roger’s suffocating hold on the tour.
Novak also harbors political ambitions and this step would help gain experience as well as set the stage for his move into Serbian politics, and perhaps world domination thereafter. We wish Novak more power and the very best.