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Tuesday, December 1, 2020 01:47:27 PM
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Djokovic's breakaway from ATP Players Council draws more flak

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11th-Nov-2020       
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Novak Djokovic is finding out that shaking up the status quo isn't always a popular move-even for a superstar.
After resigning from the ATP Players Council in September to form the Professional Tennis Players' Association (PTPA) as a rival independent union, Djokovic has drawn heavy flak from the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
"The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and for all of us to work together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation," Nadal tweeted at the time.
"These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution."
Federer tweeted similar sentiments, adding: "These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it's critical for us to stand united as players and, as a sport, to pave the best way forward."
The latest legend to slam Djokovic's move is Martina Navratilova, who told The Irish Times on the weekend that the Serbian's effort to form a rival union "is not helpful on any level".
"Do that when you stop playing tennis, but right now it's controversial and not helpful," the Hall of Famer said.
"During the pandemic you're trying to divide us further when we should be trying to bring the game together and trying to figure out how to play tournaments without people getting sick and dying from Covid-19.
Let's stay with that problem rather than creating one we don't need."
Still, Navratilova conceded she believes Djokovic has good intentions-but added he is already paying a price.
"Novak thinks he's doing the right thing; I don't agree with it but it's his choice," she said. "It certainly hasn't seemed to help his tennis. Right now he should be giving his energy to that which helps him.
"That's what I don't understand. Purely from a logical point of view, when you are a champion tennis player, when you commit to the sport, your energy should go into that."
Djokovic has described the PTPA as a platform for players to have a bigger say on decisions that affect their livelihoods.
"The goal of the PTPA is not to replace the ATP but to provide players with a self-governance structure that is independent from the ATP and is directly responsive to player-members' needs and concerns," he said in a document soliciting sign-ups from other members of the tour.
"There will be a lot of work building and perfecting the operations of this association, but our voices will finally be heard and we will soon have an impact on decisions that affect our lives and livelihoods."


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