Novak Djokovic says the ATP has been blocking his path to rejoin the players’ council

Novak Djokovic has been nominated for a return to the players’ council following his decision to create a separate organisation, but the ATP has blocked his path.

Djokovic and Canadian Vasek Pospisil were both compelled to leave the player council in August after gathering together a group of players in New York to form the PTPA (Professional Tennis Players’ Association).

For doing so, they earned criticism from the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who are both current members of the council.

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There was considerable intrigue, therefore, when the names of Djokovic and Pospisil appeared on the list of potential candidates for the new council elections in January.

The world No 1 revealed he and Pospisil had both been nominated by other players rather than putting their names forward, and he said: “I do not see any conflict of any kind in being part of the PTPA and the ATP Player Council.

“I have not seen it back in August when the PTPA was founded. I don’t see it now. So that is why I accepted the nomination as well as Vasek, because we just feel that there is a responsibility when you are nominated, and it means that you have trust and credibility from a lot of players.”

After yesterday’s successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972. #PTPA pic.twitter.com/q8H0aOdqDl

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But Djokovic revealed the ATP has brought in a new rule effectively prohibiting their participation in both bodies.

He said: “We of course made ourselves available but then the rule by ATP board was voted on last night, which basically doesn’t allow any active player to be part of the council and any other organisation in the tennis ecosystem, which is disappointing, to be honest, because I have not been approached by anybody from ATP on that matter.

“I was saying before and I’m going to say it again: We want to collaborate with ATP, and we want to be able to potentially have a place in the ecosystem, because this is what players deserve.

“Now, with this rule that has been voted on last night, that actually is a strong message from ATP that they don’t want PTPA at all in the system. So it’s very clear.

“We are just trying to fight for a better position and better treatment out there in the ecosystem, and that’s all there is. It’s unfortunate really to see that the ATP’s position is such, but OK, now we know where we stand.

“So then we obviously have to consider other strategic positions and we have to consider our next move in a different way. We’ll see what happens.”

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