On the eve of the US Open, tennis has been rocked as many male players have broken away from the ATP and create a player only union as they released a photo in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It has been heavily criticised due to it’s timing during the current worldwide situation which has seemed to have helped progress this along.
Over the last couple of days rumours came out that the ATP Chief Andrea Gaudenzi who is in his first year of office told players if they are looking at creating a union and seeing how it pans out whilst holding a place on the ATP Council they will need to resign. This prompted resignation from Vasek Pospisil who has been a main lead for this push and it is understood John Isner and Novak Djokovic have also followed suit but not made their resignation public.
It was talked about a while ago about creating a players union for all players by Pospisil who looked at the idea to maintain the interests of players and have their voices heard. Pospisil is a co-host of a joint ATP and WTA show founded during lockdown called Tennis United but isn’t involving women just yet.
The reasoning behind this union is a Pospisil says:
Pospisil has gone onto say about women’s involvement:
So, why do they want a union?
Not too many details and reasoning have come out as to why this has happened now, ultimately the players want a bigger say in things and have their voices heard which they believe is impossible on the ATP Tour.
This has caused a lot of backlash. Those on the ATP board still released a letter calling for unity during these times.
Sam Querrey who signed the letter as a board member has apparently since resigned and become one of 60+ players to joint the new Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA)
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have also come out in support of the current regime and asked for players to stick together.
‘I won’t be signing it today,’ ‘I’m not totally against a player union, or players’ association, but right now there’s a couple of things: one is I feel like the current management should be given some time to implement their vision. Whether that works out or not would potentially influence me in the future as to which way I would go. ‘Also, the fact that the women aren’t part of it, I feel like that would send a significantly much more powerful message, if the WTA were on board as well. That’s not currently the case. If those things changed in the future, it’s something that I would certainly consider.’
The news of the union also prompted a joint response from the major governing bodies the ATP, WTA, ITF, USTA, AELTC, Roland Garros & Australian Open: