Novak Djokovic has opened a can of worms after announcing that he had been nominated for a return to the ATP Player Council. The 17-time Grand Slam champion and former Council president stepped down back in August, along with fellow member Vasek Pospisil.
Djokovic clarifies he didn’t run to be back in the Player Council
After his exit from the Council, the Serb floated a new players’ front named the Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA).
Novak Djokovic at ATP Finals 2020
Djokovic made his remarks after losing to the Russian Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Wednesday. He said the game’s premier governing body was standing in his way back to the Council.
“I’ve been nominated by my fellow players, I did not proactively run for Council,” the Serb said.
The Serb claims ATP rules changed to keep him out of the Player Council
Djokovic said the ATP has introduced an overnight rule barring anyone holding a post in another body from seeking membership of the Council. He said, “Up until last night, I wanted to collaborate with ATP as one of the PTPA cofounders… But by promoting the new rule by which you cannot be a member of the Council and any other organization within the tennis system simultaneously… They (ATP) have sent a clear message what they think all of it.”
The World Number 1 further added, “So again, @atptour went against desires of the large group of players that nominated @vasekpospisil and me. It is not us who have applied, like it has been reported in the media.”The Serb even accused the ATP bosses of resorting to ‘politics’ to keep him out of the Council and said, “These are political games that take place behind the scenes and you barely see anything written about it… But it is important to write that Novak Djokovic is a hypocrite.
But OK, it is not the first time, I’m used to it…It only strengthens my shield…And gives me even bigger motivation to do what is right for the sport and for the players.”
Novak Djokovic sees no conflict between the Council and PTPA
Novak Djokovic had more quotes, very interesting, in Serbian, about his return to the @atptour council with @VasekPospisil, and the fact that they will continue PTPA anyway. Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/216ZTO5B3u
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) November 18, 2020
Djokovic alleged he was under pressure to step down as Council president. The Serb said that the thought behind PTPA was not to rival the ATP players’ front.
“I do not see any conflict of any kind at being part of the PTPA and part of player council, I didn’t then or now,” Djokovic said. He further clarified the situation and said, “Some people were saying that (it) is hypocritical of me to maybe be back at the Council along with being one of the founders of PTPA. It was not my intention to be back on the Council.”
No. 1 says PTPA will have to recalibrate
The World No. 1 added that the PTPA would have to recalibrate its approach in the light of the new ATP rule. He claimed, “This is just the beginning for PTPA, we have to see what our next strategic move will be… Obviously we will need to have a bit different approach from now on. At least we know where we stand at when it comes to ATP.”
The ATP hasn’t yet responded to the Serb’s charge of being deliberately barred from returning to the Council.