“Ashamed”: Ex-Australian Open Director on Novak Djokovic’s Exit From Players Council

Published 12/24/2020, 10:53 AM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his quarter finals match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on day seven of the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament at Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)


Just two days ago, Novak Djokovic withdrew his name from the upcoming ATP Player Council elections despite being nominated again for a return. Djokovic’s decision came at the backdrop of ATP’s new rule, which barred members of the PTPA from getting elected to the Players’ Council.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Toby Melville

After resigning as the president of the ATP council in August, Djokovic co-founded the Professional Tennis Players Association to protect the interests of the players. But the new rule has deemed members of the PTPA as having a ‘conflict of interest’ and thus renders them ineligible to hold any position at the Players’ Council.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Former Tennis Player backs Novak Djokovic

The 17-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement on Twitter and revealed that he made the decision with a heavy heart. Among many fans backing Djokovic’s decision, former tennis player and ex-Australian Open Director Paul McNamee expressed his support for the World No.1.

Through a Twitter post, McNamee criticized the ATP for barring the No.1 ranked player in the world from representing fellow players. Calling it a shameful act, McNamee believes the ATP went against its own principles, which were against the ideals of its founding members, including the late legend Arthur Ashe.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“It is with a deep sadness that I read that the #1 player in the world is barred from representing his peers… this was never, is not and will never be what the organisation ought stand for… imo the founders of the ATP, including the late great Arthur Ashe, would be ashamed,” said McNamee.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his group stage match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville

However, the ATP is yet to respond to Djokovic’s latest statement. Over the last few months, the formation of the PTPA has turned into a contentious issue, with Djokovic being heavily criticized for breaking out of the ATP Player’s Council.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Serbian’s prime adversaries – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have also rejected the idea of a new players’ association and called for unity instead.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Kshitij Tayal

362 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT