Australian tennis expert Todd Woodbridge has said World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the big favourite for the upcoming US Open in New York but the off-court distractions, such as the new players union, will make it difficult for him to focus on the tournament.
Speaking on Channel 9’s Sports Sunday, Woodbridge says, "He (Djokovic) is by far and away the best player at the moment and it's his to lose, really,. He can try and deflect all the pressure that he wants but he really is the best player.
He's creating a lot of interest because there's a lot of off-court stuff going off too that's going to make it hard for him to keep focused as we get into the US Open." Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil have led the creation of the Professional Tennis Players Association on Saturday which is supported by more than 60 players but Woodbridge says he is disappointed with the group for a couple of reasons.
Todd Woodbridge disappointed with timing of the Djokovic led player's association
The winner of 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles questioned the timing of the move to create the new association and the fact that the women players were not included.
"It's just poor judgement at this time. Everybody's losing jobs, millions are out of work, tournaments are struggling to stay up and afloat, and the tour's been trying for the last six months to get back. This is the first week back and they throw this sort of bomb out there? I'm pretty disappointed with the way that they've gone with that timing.
"But there's the biggest downfall of all and that's ... where are the women? If you're going to do this, tennis is the one sport that's united in the world, with equal prize money, our majors are played together.
We are better and stronger as one and we're not standing up to that. This group has totally missed the mark on an opportunity to bring everybody together and I think that's going to be their downfall." Those who have not backed the move by Djokovic and Pospisil include the other members of the ATP Player Council - such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - amongst others as well as the governing bodies of tennis - the ITF, the ATP Tour, the WTA Tour, and the four Grand Slam bodies.
Andy Murray has also said that he won't sign up for the association for now and that he would have also liked that women should have also been part of the plan.