Last year some disgruntled tennis players chose to quit the ATP Players Council and form the PTPA (Professional Tennis Players Association). The initiative to form the PTPA was taken by none other than Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil. The main aim of the new front was to seek a higher percentage of revenue sharing with the ATP and to let players negotiate deals and not the ATP.
Djokovic was especially critical of the ATP during the peak Covid season when the tour had to be suspended. The PTPA wanted ATP to take better care of the lower ranked players, who were extremely hard pressed financially due to the suspension of the tour. Needless to say, since then some bad blood has existed between PTPA and the ATP. Just before the start of the Miami Open, Djokovic had withdrawn from the event, but Pospisil was competing, there was another round of meetings between the ATP and the PTPA.
A meeting in which the ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi apparently screamed and shouted at Vasek Pospisil. The following day, Pospisil lost to American Mackenzie McDonald and was handed a code violation and point penalty for an angry dummy spit too. This enraged Pospisil who screamed “An hour-and-a-half yesterday, the chair of the ATP, f***ing screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players,” to the chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.
This incident brought support for Pospisil and none for vocal than Djokovic himself who tweeted that “Concerning matters at hand, I am not in Miami. However Vasek Pospisil is my good friend and I empathize with him wholeheartedly,” Djokovic added in his tweet that “Players on tour would agree that he is an individual of the highest integrity who cares about the wellbeing of his fellow competitors. I am hopeful players recognize the importance of standing together.”
What Do Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal think of the matter
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer had been vocal about their dislike for the creation of PTPA. Rafael Nadal was very clear in his stance. He didn’t like the idea of a break out tennis association especially in the times of Covid. He said that the solution is not to go our separate ways, but to work together and find a solution.
“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,” Nadal said at the time. “We all, players, tournaments and governing bodies have to work together. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution.”
Even Roger Federer tweeted out in support saying, “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.”
About the Pospisil incident both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have chosen to remain silent for now. in the meanwhile though, Vasek Pospisil has tweeted his apology for his behavior on the tennis court at Miami.