Djokovic con­firms talks with ATP chief, play­ers body to move ahead

Daily Messenger - - Sportlight -

PARIS: No­vak Djokovic has spoke with ATP chief An­drea Gau­denzi re­gard­ing his break­away play­ers body, the world No.1 con­firmed, re­it­er­at­ing that the new as­so­ci­a­tion could be a "pos­i­tive ad­di­tion" to the men's Tour. Djokovic stepped down as head of the ATP player coun­cil last month along with mem­bers Vasek Pospisil, John Is­ner and Sam Quer­rey and an­nounced the for­ma­tion of the Pro­fes­sional Ten­nis Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (PTPA).

"I did meet An­drea. We had a player meet­ing, and he did a pre­sen­ta­tion for us. It was about two days ago," the player told re­porters af­ter mov­ing into the third round in Rome with a win over Ital­ian wild­card Sal­va­tore Caruso.

"We stayed for about two-and-a-half hours and I stayed all the way through. I had a chat with him as well privately. We don't have any is­sues.

"We al­ways had a very trans­par­ent and open re­la­tion­ship, An­drea and my­self. We have known each other for many years. I re­spect him a lot." Djokovic has de­scribed the PTPA, which he said has al­ready at­tracted the sup­port of more than 200 play­ers, as a plat­form for the views of the ath­letes that can co-ex­ist with the ATP.

Ten­nis gov­ern­ing bod­ies have, how­ever, op­posed the move and called for unity now that the sport has re­sumed af­ter a lengthy shut­down due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

"We never said we want to boy­cott or sep­a­rate our­selves from the ATP or any­thing like that. We want to work to­gether in this ecosys­tem with ATP and ev­ery­one else," Djokovic added.

"The Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion is go­ing for­ward, it's very im­por­tant for us to have a 100% play­ers rep­re­sen­ta­tion."

Djokovic's move has met op­po­si­tion from Roger Fed­erer and Rafael Nadal while act­ing player coun­cil pres­i­dent Kevin An­der­son failed to see how the PTPA could co-ex­ist with the ATP un­der the cur­rent struc­ture.

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