Anderson: Novak Djokovic's players group could lead to 'ATP structure coming apart'



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Anderson: Novak Djokovic's players group could lead to 'ATP structure coming apart'

Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, has said that he finds it difficult to see how the new Professional Tennis Players Association, launched by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Canada's Vasek Pospisil, could co-exist with the ATP Tour based on the current structure and said that a new structure may be need to be put in place if the tournaments also decide to have sole representation.

The tennis world has been divided since the launch of the new association just prior to the US Open, where more than 60 players signed up for the association. Besides Djokovic and Pospisil, Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey also resigned from their positions on the ATP Player Council to join the new group.

The remaining members of the ATP Player Council, including Anderson, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have strongly opposed the new association.

Kevin Anderson on the fallout of the Novak Djokovic's players group

In an interview with Reuters, Anderson has said, "If we do go down this path of players wanting to have sole representation, the tournaments also are going to have sole representation.

And if this happens, I feel that the whole ATP structure will come apart and we will have to come up with a new structure, and we have no idea what that will look like." Several players have said that the new ATP Tour management, under the leadership of Andrea Gaudenzi, should be given more time to implement their vision which they had presented in January, especially given that the global pandemic has interrupted the global tennis calendar and the global economy since March and brought about a whole new set of challenges for the Tour management to deal with.

One of the other criticisms that had been levied upon the new group was that the new association did not include women players during its launch. Both Djokovic and Pospisil have since clarified that there is an active dialogue underway with the women and that they would be a part of the new association.

The governing bodies of tennis - the ITF Tour, the four Grand Slam bodies, the ATP & WTA Tour - also released a statement saying that the ATP Tour would be best suited to represent the players interests. Anderson also said that several items on the Novak Djokovic-Vasek Pospisil led PTPA agenda have already been taken up by the ATP Player Council and that a lot of work has already gone into the same.