Jurgen Melzer hits back at Novak Djokovic’s ATP claims, saying it is ‘utter nonsense’

Novak Djokovic on court

Jurgen Melzer has rejected Novak Djokovic’s claims that the ATP came up with new regulations to prevent him from rejoining the ATP Player Council, saying it is “utter nonsense”.

World No 1 Djokovic left his role on the council in August after announcing that he along with Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American duo Sam Querrey and John Isner have set up the breakaway Professional Tennis Players’ Association (PTPA).

Reports, though, emerged during the ATP Finals that Djokovic and Pospisil were “applying to rejoin the Player Council”.

Djokovic insisted that they didn’t apply to rejoin, but were nominated by fellow professionals to sit on the council, but were rejected.

‘That is disappointing’ – Novak Djokovic reveals ATP voted against him making shock return to players council

He added: “The rule by ATP board was voted on last night, which basically doesn’t allow any active player to be part of the council and any other organisation. That is disappointing, to be honest.”

Austrian Melzer, though, has dismissed the insinuation by the 17-time Grand Slam winner that this rule was recently adopted.

“We were a tight-knit group and tried to manage the whole thing well with the ATP management and the board members,” he said.

He added: “The PTPA is a completely different matter. Djokovic is talking about the fact that some regulation has now been made, overnight, that nobody from the PTPA is allowed to participate in the council. This is utter nonsense.

“These statutes have been around since 2006. And it’s also logical: if you have two associations, it is clear that you cannot be part of both, that’s common sense.

“I am surprised that Djokovic is so surprised now. And that he thinks that it developed against him overnight.”

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