ATP chief open to discussions with Novak Djokovic-led PTPA, but insists it is time for ‘unity’

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ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has urged all role players in the sport to “defend the best interests of tennis above all” following the formation of a breakaway players association for men.

World No 1 Djokovic stunned the tennis world on the eve of the US Open by announcing that he John Isner, Vasek Pospisil and Sam Querrey would step down from their roles on the ATP Player Council as they have set up the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

However, the move left the sport divided as the big names like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray insisted they would not join the newly formed PTPA as they called for unity.

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Although Gaudenzi says he is open to discussions with the PTPA, he also feels it is time to “fight together”.

“Obviously this has been a very difficult period for the players,” he told Le Figaro. “We were in limbo until the end of July on when the Tour would resume and where the US Open would be held.

“There was frustration among many. I have been a player myself and I understand their state of mind, but we listened to their complaints.

“We will all meet together at the end of November and December. We are of course open to discussions [with Djokovic and the PTPA], but the time has come for unity and not for conflicts.

“It wouldn’t work and everyone would lose. Tournaments need players and players need tournaments. We cannot achieve the necessary changes if there are divisions.

“We must fight together to defend the best interests of tennis above all. Today we need consistency.”

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