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ATP says “time for unity” amid reports breakaway body to be formed

With a players’ association reportedly set to be formed, the ATP issued a response Saturday, saying now was time for unity.

ATP Ranking Ilustration, ATP Tour logo during the Mutua Madrid Open 2019, Final round, (ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier) tenis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, on May 12, 2019.

The New York Times reported on Friday that world No 1 Novak Djokovic and other top men’s players are trying to create a players’ association, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

In a statement on Saturday, the ATP said now was a time for people to come together, not divide the sport further.

“The success of the ATP Tour, and its growth into one of the world’s leading sports properties over the past 30 years, has been built upon a true equal partnership between players and tournaments, alongside productive collaboration with the Grand Slams, WTA, and ITF,” the statement read.

The governance structure of the ATP Tour provides players with equal seats at the table on every major decision affecting the circuit. We recognise the challenges that our members face in today’s circumstances, however we strongly believe that now is a time for unity, rather than internal division. We remain unwavering in our commitment to deliver for our players across all areas of our business, ensuring they receive maximum benefit from their years on Tour, and that their voices are heard.

In parallel, we remain committed to working closely with the other governing bodies of tennis as we look to fulfil the true potential of our sport. Only as a unified sport can we truly focus on the fan experience, engage new audiences, and ensure that tennis continues to thrive.”

Amid reports president that Djokovic had resigned his place as leader of the ATP Player Council, Pospisil confirmed on Twitter on Friday evening that he had stepped down.

“After two years on the ATP Player Council, I am resigning from my position as the player representative for the 51-100 ranking positions,” the Canadian wrote.

“It has become clear that, as a player council member within the current structure of the ATP, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have any significant impact on any major decisions made by our tour.

“I am proud to say I have always fought for what I believed to be right and, in doing so, never compromised my integrity.

“My sole mission on the council was to represent my peers well, and I’m extremely proud to have done that to the best of my abilities. I leave holding my head high.”

Djokovic and Pospisil will serve as initial co-presidents of the PTPA, according to The New York Times.

Read again our feature about the ATP : “The union which became a Tour; how players took control of world tennis”

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