“Do Not Wish to Create Conflict”: Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil Quit ATP Player Council Elections

Published 12/21/2020, 11:56 PM 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


After having resigned as president of the ATP Player’s Council in August, Novak Djokovic subsequently founded an independent player’s union, Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA). Despite his resignation, Djokovic was nominated for a return to the Player’s Council last month. However, due to his involvement in the controversial players’ union, Djokovic has officially withdrawn himself from the next ATP Player Council elections.

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

In a Twitter post, the World No. 1 talked about the recent developments and the reason behind his decision to withdraw from the upcoming ATP Player Council elections.

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The 17-time Grand Slam champion acknowledged the support of the players who nominated him once again for the Council. However, Djokovic revealed that the new rule passed by the ATP barred members of the PTPA to hold any position at the ATP Players’ Council.

“However, a few days after my nomination the ATP passed a new rule which has now put me in a difficult position. This new rule specifies that all members of the newly formed Professional Tennis Players Association or any association that is deemed as having a “conflict of interest” cannot be elected as a member of the Players Council,” wrote Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic withdraws his name

Reiterating his stance, Djokovic asserted the PTPA was created to co-exist with the ATP and does not intend to violate the interests of the ATP. In fact, his arch-rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray had criticized Djokovic when the latter resigned from the ATP Player’s Council.

“As you know, I am part of the PTPA, an organization that was recently created with no intention of being in conflict with the ATP.” penned Djokovic.

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)

Not wanting to invite further controversy, Djokovic removed his name from the list of candidates with a heavy heart. Before concluding his post, Djokovic hoped the PTPA will achieve its aim of helping many lower ranked players and having a positive impact on the sport.

“I do not wish to create conflict or uncertainty around the Player Elections or create any issues that may arise. I do this reluctantly and with a heavy heart. I am, and always have been, very passionate when it comes to representing my peers on the council,” communicated Djokovic through the social media post.

Vasek Pospisil supports Djokovic

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PTPA’s co-founder, Vasek Pospisil, also got nominated to return to the ATP Players’ Council, but he had to withdraw his name because of the new rule passed by the ATP. Pospisil announced his decision of removing his name from the next Council elections through a Twitter post.

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Backing Djokovic’s decision, Pospisil vowed to advocate for the player’s interests and achieving a transparent tour where players are treated as partners in the business of tennis.

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Kshitij Tayal

358 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.

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