Djokovic, other players voice support for Pospisil following Miami meltdown

Players such as Novak Djokovic, John Isner, and Ryan Harrison have been taking to social media to voice their support for Vasek Pospisil following the Canadian’s meltdown at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Vasek Pospisil Miami

Vasek Pospisil may have felt alone while reportedly getting yelled at by ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi at a meeting on Tuesday and again while incurring a point penalty during his first-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

However, a whole host of Pospisil’s colleagues have been making it known on social media that he is most definitely not alone. It is clear that he has plenty of support from his fellow players in their fight for getter better treatment from the ATP Tour.

The current controversy stems from Pospisil’s meltdown at chair umpire Arnaud Gabas’ during the Canadian’s three-set loss to McDonald. Pospisil surrendered the first set of that contest when he was docked a point penalty while serving at 3-5, 15-40, after which the 30-year-old explained to Gabas that his unusually bad behaviour stemmed from what had transpired the previous day.

“What’s happening today?,” Pospisil started. “For an hour and half yesterday, the chair of the ATP [expletive] screaming at me in a player meeting, for trying to unite the players. For an hour and a half. The leader of the ATP. Get him out here.… F***ing ***hole.”

“That’s enough,” Gabas said. “If you need to say something to him, then do it outside this court, please.”

“Why am I supporting this [expletive]…,” Pospisil muttered to himself, before returning to Gabas. “If you wanna default me, I’ll gladly sue this entire organisation.”

The world No 67 co-founded — along with Novak Djokovic — the PTPA, a players’ union formed in 2020 to support lower-ranked professionals on the fringes of the tours. He is one of many players who have long been calling for a transparent audit of ATP accounts to identify how and where the money is flowing — with too little, they say, going to the players.

Despite his frustration, Pospisil apologised on Thursday.

“I want to sincerely apologise for my behaviour on the court in Miami earlier today,” he wrote. “I disrespected the game I love and for that I am truly sorry. By way of explanation, I felt deeply unnerved during a meeting between players and ATP executives last night, and I underestimated the toll those emotions took on me until I stepped onto the court today.”

#PlayersVoice hashtag emerges on Twitter

Pospisil’s apology was followed by a long list of supportive tweets from other players. That list includes Djokovic, Milos Raonic, and Ivo Karlovic plus Americans Steve Johnson, Ryan Harrison, and Rajeev Ram.

Alexander Zverev has previously protested against the drop in prize money during the Covid-19 pandemic, while Isner has called out the “system” of the ATP as a whole.

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