As was expected, Novak Djokovic has ruled himself out from the ATP Players Council, removing his name from the list of candidates to avoid conflict of interests. Thus, world no. 1 will switch focus to his Professional Tennis Players' Association organization, working with other players and improving things in our sport that don't work as they should.
In August, Djokovic had resigned as president of the Council, seeking a different approach to taking tennis to a higher level and setting up the PTPA ahead of the US Open. The fellow players had nominated Djokovic for the ATP Players Council again, and the Serb was ready to accept that and remain in the official ATP group.
Nonetheless, the ATP had changed the rule, preventing the players from having a role in both the ATP and PTPA, which left Novak with no other option but to resign. Novak said that the PTPA is yet to bring its structure and long-term vision and goals, hoping that will happen soon, as they want to find the path towards a better-composed sport that would benefit everyone involved.
"I would like to give you an update with regards to my notification for the next ATP Player Council elections. I would like to first say, as always, I am honoured by the continued support and confidence shown by those who nominated me to once again serve our collective player interests on the Council.
My first reaction to this nomination was to accept it with the intention that, if elected, I would do my best to protect players' interests within the ATP. However, a few days after my nomination, the ATP passed a new rule which has put me in a difficult position.
Novak Djokovic will not be a part of the ATP Players Council.
This new rule specifies that all members of the newly formed Professional Tennis Players' Association or any association that is deemed as having a 'conflict of interest' cannot be elected as a member of the Players Council.
As you know, I am part of the PTPA, an organization that was recently created with no intention of being in conflict with the ATP. The PTPA has yet to be structured with its strategy and long-term vision yet to be clearly defined, and although the PTPA has made it clear it does not intend to be combative, it is unclear how the ATP will view the association in the future.
Unfortunately, given these latest developments I feel it is now necessary to remove my name from the list of candidates. I do not wish to create conflict or uncertainty around the player elections or create any issues that may arise.
I do this reluctantly and with a very heavy heart. I am, and always have been, very passionate when it comes to representing my peers on the Council. I truly believe there is a path forward that will greatly improve the lives of many players, especially the lower ranked, and have a powerful and positive impact on the sport of tennis as a whole.
I am confident that the PTPA will achieve this in the near future. Before concluding, I wish to communicate that it is extremely important that we do not have conflicts of interest in our sport. I hope that, going forward, this is not only applied to the formation of new associations at the player level but further applied to all levels within the ATP structure," Novak Djokovic said.