Novak Djokovic backs his friend Vasek Pospisil as tensions rise with ATP chiefs
World No.1 Novak Djokovic has leapt to the defence of Vasek Pospisil after his foul-mouth on-court rant against the ATP hit the headlines at the Miami Open.
Pospisil’s frustrations with the ATP got the better of him during his Miami Open first-round match as he launched a foul-mouthed rant against chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
The Canadian took on Mackenzie McDonald from the United States on Wednesday and his tantrum started late in the first set as he angrily smashed a ball out of the court, smashed his racket and started shouting at chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.
He was handed verbal abuse penalty point on set point and it resulted in him losing the opening set 3-6.
During the changeover the world No 67 vented to umpire Gabas, shouting: “For an hour-and-a-half yesterday, chair of the ATP f****** screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players.
“For an hour and a half. The leader of the ATP. Get him out here. f****** a***h***. Why am I supporting this?”
Pospisil later apologised for his words in a lengthy tweet, as he appeared to backtrack on his on-court statements:
I underestimated the toll those emotions took on me until I stepped onto the court today. Again, I am sorry for my on-court behavior and the language I used. #players [2/2]
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) March 25, 2021
Yet the Canadian has plenty of support in what is becoming a rising tide of discontent from top players towards the ATP, with Djokovic now adding his support to Pospisil.
Djokovic and Pospisil close friends as they started the PTPA last year – an independent players’ union, with ATP chiefs clear in their stance that they will not allow anyone associated with that organisation to be present on the ATP Players’ council.
There have been rumours of a breakaway tour lead by Djokovic and he has stated his support to Pospisil in a week when he opted not to play at the Miami Open.
Concerning matters at hand, I am not in Miami. However Vasek Pospišil is my good friend and I empathize with him wholeheartedly. Players on tour would agree that he is an individual of the highest integrity who cares about the well being of his fellow competitors. 1/2
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) March 26, 2021
Djokovic ended his message with the comment: I am hopeful players recognize the importance of standing together #playersvoice
This ongoing battle between a collection of high profile players at the ATP has the potential to develop into a significant split in the game with Djokovic and Pospisil clearly united in their belief that the ATP could be running the game more professionally.
The PTPA insisted that they hoped to co-exist with the Player Council to fight for players, but with the door slammed to their participation in the running of the game by the ATP, this is a story that has the potential to explode soon.
Dominic Thiem opens about how bubble life and unpredictability have affected him
Dominic Thiem not a fan of bubble life.
Felix Auger-Aliassime-Toni Nadal partnership needs time after opening loss in Monte Carlo
Oli Jefford excited about the Felix Auger-Aliassime-Toni Nadal partnership.
Rafael Nadal on his ‘healthy ambition’ and how personal motivation and not Big Three rivalry shaped his career
Rafael Nadal on his Slam desire and Big Three rivalry.
Astra Sharma’s change in fortunes: From losing after umpire’s howler to winning her maiden WTA title
Astra Sharma can call herself a WTA Tour singles title winner.
‘I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final,’ says Andrey Rublev after Monte-Carlo defeat
Andrey Rublev ‘happy’ and ‘super sad’.
Roger Federer has his sights set on another French Open appearance
The Swiss won at Roland Garros in 2009.
Roger Federer reveals schedule changes as he adds one event and removes two before Roland Garros
Roger Federer confirms schedule tweaks.
‘I am overwhelmed with emotions and nostalgia’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas wins Monte-Carlo Masters title
Stefanos Tsitsipas breaks his ATP Masters 1000 title duck.
ATP Serbia Open draw: Novak Djokovic set for homecoming as he finds out path to possible glory
Novak Djokovic could face Aslan Karatsev in the semi-final.
Kyle Edmund set for longer spell on the sidelines after undergoing ‘small procedure’
Kyle Edmund “currently rehabbing”.