Novak Djokovic gets brutally honest on why he started PTPA


Novak Djokovic gets brutally honest on why he started PTPA
Novak Djokovic gets brutally honest on why he started PTPA © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Novak Djokovic says he perfectly understands how some lower-ranked players may feel because he experienced similar difficulties coming from Serbia and not having a strong federation behind him or a strong budget to finance his career.

In 2020, Djokovic - who is now a record 24-time Grand Slam champion - launched the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). When Djokovic launched the PTPA, he highlighted that the PTPA's goal would be to fight and ensure better rights and conditions for all players.

At the time, Djokovic specifically emphasized that helping the lower-ranked players was his top priority. "I was in their shoes, I understand the struggle. I understand the difficulties of paying the costs for travel if you don't have the backing of a strong federation, which 90% or even more of the players around the world don't have, and not having the budget to pay for coaches and physiotherapists.

Coming from Serbia, I didn't have any of that. And now I have influence, I have power, and I want to fight for better conditions. We talk so much about how much money the US Open winners make but we are not talking about how many players, both men and women, singles, doubles, all together, professionals live from this sport.

It's less than 400 [players] max for a sport that is super global and then it's one of the most-watched sports on the planet. That's poor. That's a failure for our sport," Djokovic told ESPN.

Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Djokovic wants to be remembered for more than just tennis success

On the court, Djokovic has accomplished more than anyone else as he is the first man with 24 Grand Slam titles and he also owns the record for the most weeks spent at the world No 1 spot.

But for Djokovic, leaving a legacy off the court is also something he wants to achieve before retiring. "I want to leave a legacy on and off the court. I would love my peers, my colleagues, to remember me as someone who had a lot of success in tennis, but didn't only think about himself, but also thought of other players and making sure that while he's at the top of the game, that he's using his influence, he's using his status and his profile and his contacts to create a better ecosystem for players and generally just for the sport," Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Professional Tennis Players Association

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