“Don’t See How We Can Possibly Work Together”: Kevin Anderson Doubts Impact of Novak Djokovic’s PTPA

Published 01/15/2021, 8:00 AM EST
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Toby Melville


17-Time Grand Slam holder Novak Djokovic began the previous season by winning the Australian Open. However, he created a few headlines during the course of last year. On the eve of the US Open last season, the Serb created a stir by stepping down from the president’s post of ATP Players Council and instead, creating the PTPA (Professional Tennis Players Association).

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic created the PTPA in the hopes of voicing the opinions of other players. This division has created disturbance amongst the players on Tour. There have been players who agree with Novak, and there are other players who disagree with the Serb.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA: 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)

Still have to negotiate with tournaments, says Anderson

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Recently, the current ATP Players Council president, Kevin Anderson, spoke on the matter. He stated, “Players are represented by the Council, by the Tour members. Our structure is 50 percent owned by tournaments, 50 percent owned by players. Even if you had an entity that’s 100 percent owned by players, you’d still have to go to the table and negotiate with the tournaments. So I personally don’t really see how that would be that much more beneficial.”

However, now that Novak Djokovic remains determined to go ahead with his plans, the 2018 Wimbledon finalist hopes that the two organizations can work together, although he feels the differences in structures could create complications.

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Kevin Anderson of South Africa pose during the trophy ceremony after their Men’s Singles Finals match on Day Fourteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson in the third set with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The South African star further stated, “I hope everybody can work together, just from a big picture standpoint. Because that’s when we’re the strongest. In terms of logistics and the actual flow of information and decision-making, I don’t see how we can possibly work together, just purely from… the way our structures are set up… I don’t know what the PTPA’s sort of vision is and how they see them progressing forward.”

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Tennis fans will hope for these issues that have cropped up outside the tennis courts to be resolved mutually, much to the satisfaction of all the parties involved.

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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