Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic has started a men’s-only tennis association; the Professional Tennis Players Association. The announcement comes alongside the start of the U.S. Open today, the first tennis major to play since COVID-19 spread across the globe.
Tennis players aren’t represented by a union and Djokovic and co-founder Canadian men’s tennis player Vasek Pospisil wanted to unify to “have our voices heard and have an impact on decisions being made that affect our lives & livelihoods.” Both players resigned from their leadership roles on the ATP’s player council.
While the pair said they didn’t want to disrupt the tennis tour, they didn’t include women. Earlier this year there was talk about merging the men’s ATP Tour and women’s WTA Tour.
The association has seen support from other men’s players, but two of the greatest to play the game — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — spoke out against the plan. They were joined in opposition by the ATP, WTA and the four Grand Slam tournaments.