'Balls-gate', Novak Djokovic's PTPA finds a solution

The association of professional tennis players has made a very interesting proposal to overcome the problem of balls, at the center of discord in the 2023 tennis season

by Lorenzo Ciotti
'Balls-gate', Novak Djokovic's PTPA finds a solution
© Will Russell / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The 2024 tennis season has just begun and Novak Djokovic's PTPA has already productively proposed a solution to the balls-gate, at the center of the discord in the 2023 tennis season. The constant change of balls from one tournament to another created considerable controversy last season among tennis players on the men's circuit.

The group, which has received protests from athletes such as Stan Wawrinka and Stefanos Tsitsipas, has indicated the possible path that will ultimately be taken by the ATP. At the Finals in Turin there would have been a quick confrontation between Djokovic and president Andrea Gaudenzi.

Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Will Russell

The CEO of the PTPA Ahmad Nassar spoke in an interview with Express UK to explain what the ATP's next moves could be: "Soon there will be some meetings of the board of directors in which the different options that could be pursued will be discussed," he revealed.

Ahmad Nassar's point of view

The CEO pointed out how we went from one hard court competition to another with three different balls: "Some are heavy, others light. This destroys your shoulder and elbows. It's something that, if you organize a series of fragmented tournaments, you never give importance." The solution highlighted by Nassar is quite clear: "We did some research and it turns out that a high percentage of tennis balls around the world are produced in similar facilities and at the end of the process a logo is placed on them.

This means they can continue to sell their sponsorship but we can at least have the same specifications on the playing surface. This would lead to respect for different brands, so as not to have a negative impact on sponsorship issues in tournaments,” the CEO said.

PTPA, a few weeks ago, had also harshly attacked the WTA for what happened at the Cancun Finals, saying how the recently concluded WTA Finals not only disappointed players and fans, but also cast a shadow on tennis and women's sport in general.

PTPA had initially chosen to remain silent out of respect for the players who worked hard for a year to achieve this result and for the local organizers who were unfairly trapped in an impossible situation. Now that the event is behind us, PTPA has asked the WTA to commission an independent, third-party report examining the numerous egregious failings that have occurred in recent months.

Novak Djokovic Ptpa