Djokovic says he spoke to Serena about the players association

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Novak Djokovic said he spoke to top tennis pros, including Serena Williams, about the players‘ association he and Vasek Pospisil founded in hopes of “getting more access and transparency” – and a bigger cut in the sport’s revenues.

“You are beginning to realize that the players are not represented as they deserve and as they should be,” said Djokovic during a video conference on the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) on Friday evening, three days before the start of Wimbledon. where he is aiming for the 20th Grand Slam title.

“I have a feeling that a lot of players are finding,” added Djokovic, “that we have to do more than just be satisfied with the little information we receive.”

Tennis players are not unionized like athletes are in North American team sports; Instead, each player is considered an independent contractor.

“Tennis is way behind, I think. We are in 2021 and that is just … a basic need for our sport in the world we live in, ”said Pospisil. “There are a lot of very, very unhappy players and players who have problems and I think they don’t have to be.”

Number 1 Djokovic and Pospisil, who won the championship title in men’s doubles at Wimbledon in 2014 and are currently number 66 in singles, started the PTPA around the time of last year’s US Open in August. The group announced this week that it has appointed an executive director, Adam Larry, and an advisory board; it also received public support from the players’ associations for the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball.

The ATP released a statement on Wednesday criticizing efforts to create a so-called “separate player unit”.

Djokovic, Pospisil and Larry all spoke out on Friday about trying to work with the ATP.

“At some point I think they will realize that when we have so many players, it is important to work with us. And at some point, when we reach a dead end, we of course have to think about the next move, the next strategy, ”said Pospisil. “But we are pretty confident that they will be communicating with us shortly.”

Larry said the group has “hundreds of players” who are members, including more than 70% of the ATP men’s tour, but declined to say how many from the WTA women’s tour are already involved.

Djokovic said he spoke to Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, about the PTPA during the French Open, which ended two weeks ago.

“And I plan to speak to her again here in London,” along with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, “a disruptor and very successful entrepreneur who has some ideas that he wants to share with us,” Djokovic said .

Djokovic was formerly President and Pospisil was a member of the ATP Player Council.

“We tried … the conventional way,” said Djokovic, “and we’re trying the unconventional way now.”

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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