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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Novak Djokovic advocating for players to form union

Novak Djokovic celebration

Novak Djokovic’s attempt to unionize his fellow men’s tennis players has been the talk of the Australian Open so far.

According to the Daily Mail, Djokovic spoke at the annual player meeting at the Australian Open on Friday night. Djokovic reportedly spoke last, politely asked non-players to leave the room, then brought up a lawyer to help make the argument for why the players should unionize.

For now, the players are partners with tennis tournaments on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour, where tournaments offer varying levels of prize money depending on the event category. The grand slams determine their prize money pots.

Djokovic is president of the ATP Player Council, so he is active in these subject matters. He even got into some hot water two years ago when he suggested men deserved a greater share of revenue than women at events where it’s proven they are bigger draws.

Among the top names in the sport, Roger Federer is said to be opposed to unionizing, while Andy Murray reportedly favors it. Either way, the threat of a union could lead grand slam events to bump the pay closer to levels Djokovic finds satisfactory.

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