About two weeks ago, Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil rocked the foundations of tennis by stepping down from their respective roles in the Player Council and announcing the creation of the fledgling Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).
The 'rebel players' association met with numerous adhesions but also some criticism, especially due to the timing of such a schism. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the two most important and recognizable champions of this era, opposed the initiative, prompting Pospisil himself to admit the difficulties that lie behind such a project.
The Swiss and the Spaniard are still far from the circuit, having both decided to miss the trip to the United States. The Majorcan will return to the court in Rome, while the Basel phenomenon has already given the appointment for the beginning of 2021.
In a recent interview with Tennis Majors, Pospisil expressed his opinion on the contrary position taken by Roger and Rafa.
Pospisil on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
“It’s difficult," Vasek Pospisil said.
"It doesn’t help, for sure. One, the statements, I wish they had spoken to us (first) – maybe they didn’t want to – I feel there’s a misinterpretation of what it is we’re trying to do and I feel like that is the main counter-argument against it.
So suddenly if you take that away (the misinterpretation), suddenly there’s no counter-argument that makes sense, from a players’ side. I would love to be able to speak to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal if they would like to.
I’d love to try to speak to them”. Pospisil added. “I think historically, Nadal is a super player and has been pretty vocal, so I’m optimistic that at least one of those two will join. But they’re also not the (whole) sport, they’re two players.
And this is where they get almost too much credit for how big they are,” Pospisil continued. “Because what are two players (going) to do if 500 are unified and two aren’t? Obviously, because they have so much power they can persuade some players that are not as strong-minded, they can influence certain players because of their star power.
But honestly, the sport is much bigger than just a couple of names”. Top seed Novak Djokovic, a four-time Italian Open winner, will open his campaign against either Italian wildcard Salvatore Curaso or a qualifier. Section 2 is lead by fourth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini, who could face sixth seed David Goffin from Belgium in the quarter-finals.