Novak Djokovic’s PTPA Reveals Sad Truth of Elite Sport Tennis

Published 07/09/2021, 9:09 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates during his first round match against Britain’s Jack Draper REUTERS/Paul Childs


When the coronavirus pandemic struck the whole world, tennis also came to a halt. While the top 100 players had more than enough financial support to make it through, however, the lower-ranked players had problems sustaining themselves. This showed a gulf in the financial system of ATP and WTA. World No.1 Novak Djokovic had been vocal about it and now his Professional Tennis Players Association(PTPA) has shown a sad truth of tennis.

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On its Twitter handle, PTPA posted a graph that puts the average salary of players ranked between 301 to 400 against the various elite sports in the world. In this graph, National Hockey League (NHL) leads with an average salary of $2,180,530.

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In second is Major League Baseball (MLB), with an average salary of $2,143,460. Then in a distant third is the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), whose 301-400 ranked players’ average salary is close to the 10 percent of NHL and MLB at $231,090.

If the gulf between MLB, NHL, and PGA seemed larger, then the tennis average will shock everyone. On average, ATP players ranked 301-400 earn a measly $56,760 when compared to the millions of MLB and NHL. Further lower than ATP players are the WTA players whose average is $34,420.

When did Novak Djokovic start PTPA?

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the second set during his quarter final match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics REUTERS/Toby Melville

PTPA is a players-only organization that aims to raise the voice of various players that was silent at the ATP. Djokovic and Pospisil are the founders and started the organization at the US Open last year. Their aim is to have a say in the various decisions taken by the governing bodies of tennis and the tournaments.

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We are working toward growth to help all players, not just the top 100, to make sustainable livelihoods and have their rights protected on and off the court. From top to bottom, we must use our collective voices to help players today, and tomorrow,” said Djokovic.

PTPA has now made strong strides in its ambition. It has an advisory board with a director and many new members have also joined in. It has very much been against the ATP’s 30-year plan as well. Will PTPA bring a revolutionary change to tennis?

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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