21-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic and the women’s world no2 Ons Jabeur have been named as two members of the first executive committee of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).
PTPA, which was announced by Djokovic almost two years ago, aims to rival the men’s tennis circuit, the ATP, and the women’s tennis circuit, the WTA, and give players more power over the decision the two bodies make.
The full PTPA committee will be announced ahead of next week’s Australian Open, with co-founder Vasek Pospisil, world No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz, Americans John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Spaniard Paula Badosa and China’s Zheng Saisai joining Novak Djokovic and Ons Jabeur.
The aim of the rival body is to set forth a set of guiding principles that include topics ranging from player welfare to their right to organise and even increased compensation.
Tennis players, currently, are referred to as “independent contractors” and do not get a say in labour laws which the PTPA wants to change as well.
The announcement comes at a crucial moment for the sport of tennis with the expected power struggle likely to tear it apart very much like what is happening in Golf with the PGA and the rival LIV Golf league.
PTPA, have thus far, shown no signs of breaking away from the two tours.
It will also put Djokovic and other members in direct conflict with tennis’ biggest stars like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who do not see much wrong with the two tennis bodies.
The Serbian has insisted that two bodies can co-exist but has not shied away from controversy in the past.
The record ATP Finals winner has also reiterated his desire for more tennis players to join the body so they can have a larger say in how things work.