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Should Novak Djokovic be removed from the Player Council? – Match Points excerpt

Match Points is a talk show about tennis, hosted by Josh Cohen for Tennis Majors. In this episode, Josh asks the panel if Novak Djokovic should be removed from his role as president of the ATP Player Council after the ill-fated Adria Tour?

July 7, 2020
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Our Match Points panel consists of former Wimbledon champion and world No 7 Marion Bartoli, ATP world No 225 Noah Rubin (founder of Behind the Racquet) and American journalist Ben Rothenberg.

The guests joined Cohen to give their take on whether Novak Djokovic should be removed from the ATP Player Council after the ill-fated Adria Tour, which saw a number of players, including the world No 1 himself, test positive for Covid-19.

Novak Djokovic, Adria Tour 2020

Marion Bartoli said that would be going too far.

“Here we go. Should he even not be allowed to play tennis anymore? Let’s not be overdramatic guys. If he feels himself that he’s done something wrong, I’m sure he’s well-behaved enough to say, look guys I’ve done a massive mistake, I’m going to take a step back from my role, and please accept my sincere apologies. But I don’t think we should be as over-dramatic as we are. It was a great event, with great intentions, that ended up that way, due to many different reasons. But I don’t think we should put all the blame on him. I don’t think it’s fair.

Rubin, who was part of an ATP Zoom call that Djokovic chose not to be a part of, disagreed.

“It does seem a lot more selfish than Marion’s making it out to be. Of course he wanted to bring smiles to the faces of his home town…but he’s looking out for six players. Like, how does this affect me, how does it affect tennis as a whole? This could put tennis back five, steps behind. You’re talking about the president of the player council, not doing what’s best for the whole sum of tennis, and at the same time missing the Zoom call…basically the largest meeting in the history of the ATP, and he couldn’t even show his face for a minute. Highly disappointing. I know he’s tried to help the lower ranked players get more cash but we haven’t seen a big difference yet…I don’t know what we can say to argue that he should stay in that role right now.”

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