“Couple of Very Wealthy and Influential People” – Novak Djokovic Reveals the Financial Backbone of PTPA

Published 06/02/2021, 5:46 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Novak Djokovic has offered some insight into the running of the Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA), a players’ body he founded with Canadian peer Vasek Pospisil after quitting the ATP Player Council last year.

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The current World No.1 has said that a couple of wealthy and influential businessmen from the United States are not only providing the financial backbone to the PTPA but also involved in the capacity of advisors.

Novak Djokovic says the PTPA funders are ardent tennis fans

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Speaking to reporters after beating Tennys Sandgren of the US in his Roland-Garros opener, Djokovic said both the businessmen are ardent tennis fans who have the interest of the sport and tennis players at the core of whatever they do at the PTPA.

“We have a couple of very wealthy and influential people, successful people in business that are tennis that are from the United States and that are behind us, supporting us financially and also with their advices and consultations,” the Serb said.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The PTPA has been waging, in what seems, a long battle with the governing body of men’s tennis on the players’ earnings and benefits as well as the reduction in prize money across Tour events, including Grand Slams, on account of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Djokovic-led PTPA has been waging a battle with ATP over player pay

Even the ongoing French Open, where Djokovic is the top men’s seed, has seen a significant cut in the total prize money this year, with those in the doubles draw set to be affected the most by it.

The issue over reduced prize money in tournaments came to be at the front and center of the tennis discourse in the wake of Pospisil’s meltdown and outburst during a match at the Miami Open earlier this year.

Clearly off his game, the Canadian wrecked his racquet and lost a set after picking up a point penalty on account of a second violation.

That was the trigger point as he let loose an expletive-laden rant at the ATP thereafter, accusing it of standing against its bid to forge player unity on the issue of reduced prize money and also in the interest of cutting them a better deal.

Subsequent reports suggested that he went in for a meeting with some top office bearers of the ATP on these moot issues barely hours before his Miami match against Mackenzie McDonald.

Watch This Story: Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Venus Williams and Others’ Altercation With the Chair Umpire at French Open 2021

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Sparks flew at the meeting and the Canadian got apparently screamed at by the ATP top bosses, leaving him fuming, the reports suggested.

Even as Pospisil later tweeted an apology for his outburst, he received a lot of support not only from Djokovic but also from the likes of John Isner and Croat Ivo Karlovic.

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“ATP Feeds Us”: Alexander Bublik Opposes Novak Djokovic’s PTPA After Vasek Pospisil Outburst

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However, the thorny issues remain fluid and are far from being settled.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

995 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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