The tennis world is currently divided into two halves. On one side we have the players who have called for a complete unification and hold the ATP Players Council as the absolute governing body. On the other side, we have players led by Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil who have formed a new union for the players named Professional Tennis Players Association.
The formation of the new union caused a lot of controversies. ATP has ruled that the PTPA cannot co-exist with ATP. Vasek Pospisil addressed the issue and seemed pretty confident with his stand.
The Canadian kept the explanation pretty simple. He called for protecting the players and their rights. Pospisil mentioned that the players do not have any kind of legal protection under ATP. On the flip side, the PTPA will grant legal protection to the players.
“I don’t really see why not. It kind of, in some ways, just replaces our (ATP Player) Council and our Board reps. I think the only thing it really does is just organize the players in a way we haven’t had and having legal protection because right now we’re not legally protected, within the ATP.
“The Tour can run the way it is running right now but within the ATP we have no protection and if we have our own association we’ll have protection,” he stated.
ATP to keep on conducting the tours
Vasek Pospisil also mentioned there won’t be any interference in the conductance of the tours. He clarified that PTPA won’t be organizing any kind of tours of their own.
“Maybe something will have to be restructured on paper, but the actual functionality of the Tour should not change whatsoever. In terms of the events, the same events running the way they’re running now. I think just the negotiations would be very different.
“But in terms of it actually impacting the Tour, I don’t see any reason why that would be the case, unless we had some agenda like if we wanted to start our own Tour because suddenly we would have the kind of power, where, if there were people trying to throw tennis events – by ATP rules…we’re not allowed to play anything other than ATP events – well, that’s a different discussion. That’s not our intention right now, at all.”
Pospisil believes both the units can coexist
Pospisil played his trump card as he stated that success, in the long run, would mean the failure of ATP. However, he pushed everything to the backseat and stated that it’s important to focus on the short-term goals.
“I’m also not naïve, if you fast-forward six, 12 months, 24 months, whatever, suddenly things could look very different. And if they do, that just means that the ATP hadn’t done a good job, because if we’re having better opportunities that they’re throwing at us, then we’d be crazy not to take it.
“We’re not trying to do this and disrupt it. OK, what happens and what’s the secondary result is yet to be seen but in terms of the short term, it can absolutely co-exist. And I think it’s because our approach is not combative – they’ve been more combative than we have – but maybe they view it that way and that’s why they feel it would be (not possible).”
The final verdict
Certainly, both bodies think differently about the situation. It is therefore hard to state which decision will prevail. However, instead of making individual press releases, it is beneficial for both sides to discuss the matter and reach an agreement.