Last Thursday, the top executives of the Association of Tennis Professionals decided to suspend the Tour for the next six weeks due to the health emergency that is hitting the world. Mark Knowles, former number one in doubles and current member of the ATP Board of Directors, revealed the role played by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the tough choice that has suspended any tennis competition.
“I think one thing Roger, Rafa and Novak do not get enough credit for [is that] these guys are so involved which I think is incredibly lucky for all of us,” Knowles told the Tennis Channel. “Three of the greatest players of all time but they are in on every decision.
You would think Roger went under knee surgery say ‘I going to remove myself from the tour. But he was one of the first guys to get in touch and make sure things are happening and we are making decisions accordingly. It has been a very challenging time obviously.
The world has really changed for us, not just for tennis but globally over the last five days. There’s been a lot of conference calls trying to get everybody aligned. We are a very international sport so the way we are made up with tournament board reps, player board reps, player council members, our constituents, all the players, they are all over the world.
So trying to get everybody together and really come up with a unified decision, there are so many layers to this. Once you think you’ve got a handle on it, there’s a whole other element, whether it is prize money, pension, player commitment, media commitment.
There are so many factors to this, it is going to take some time. But we feel like we have been out in front as the ATP Tour has been addressing all the issues. We’ve looked at almost everything and really tried to be out in front the best that we could”.