Novak Djokovic quits ATP Player Council elections ‘with a heavy heart’ as he ‘does not wish to create conflict’

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic press conference

Novak Djokovic is no longer in the running to rejoin the ATP Player Council as he has removed his name from the list of candidates after being deemed to have a conflict of interest due to his role in the Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA).

The world No 1 dropped a bombshell on the eve of the US Open in August as he announced that he had resigned as president of the council in order to set up the PTPA along with Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American pair John Isner and Sam Querrey.

A few months later he was nominated by his fellow professionals to run in the current player council elections and he accepted the nomination.

However, it later emerged that ATP rules state players can’t sit on both the player council and PTPA.

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As a result, Djokovic has withdrawn from the elections and he confirmed the decision in a social media post.

“I would like to first say, as always, I am honoured by the continued support and confidence shown by those who nominated me to once again serve our collective player interests on the council,” he wrote.

“My first reaction to this nomination was to accept it with the intention that, if elected, I would do my best to protect players’ interests within the ATP.

“However, a few days after my nomination the ATP passed a new rule which has put me in a difficult position. This new rule specifies that all members of the newly formed Professional Tennis Players’ Association or any association that is deemed as having a ‘conflict of interest’ cannot be elected as a member of the Players Council.

“As you know, I am part of the PTPA, an organization that was recently created with no intention of being in conflict with the ATP.

“The PTPA has yet to be structured with its strategy and long-term vision yet to be clearly defined, and although the PTPA has made it clear it does not intend to be combative, it is unclear how the ATP will view the association in the future.

“Unfortunately, given these latest developments I feel it is now necessary to remove my name from the list of candidates. I do not wish to create conflict or uncertainty around the player elections or create any issues that may arise.

“I do this reluctantly and with a very heavy heart. I am, and always have been, very passionate when it comes to representing my peers on the council.

“I truly believe there is a path forward that will greatly improve the lives of many players, especially the lower ranked, and have a powerful and positive impact on the sport of tennis as a whole. I am confident that the PTPA will achieve this in the near future.”

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