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Djokovic: ATP Doesn't Want to Work with PTPA

Novak Djokovic says recent ruling sends a strong message: the ATP doesn't to work with the PTPA.

The world No. 1, who launched the Professional Tennis Players Association along with Vasek Pospisil and others last August, said he was nominated by his peers to return to the ATP Player Council. Djokovic, who previously served as ATP Player Council president, stepped down in August after forming the PTPA.

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However, in response to nominations for Djokovic and fellow former council member Pospisil, the ATP board passed a rrule preventing active players from being part of both the ATP Player Council and an outside organization, Djokovic said today.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion called the rule "disappointing" and said it sends a clear message: the ATP has no interest in cooperating with the Djokovic-led PTPA.

"I was saying before and I'm going to say it again: We want to collaborate with ATP, and we want to be able to potentially have a place in the ecosystem, because this is what players deserve," Djokovic told the media at the ATP Finals. "Now with this rule that has been voted on last night, that actually is a strong message from ATP that they don't want PTPA at all in the system, and they don't want any player, you know, involved in council and PTPA at the same time.

"So it's very clear. It wasn't clear from ATP before. The reason why you are not hearing much from PTPA in the last couple of months is because we have been trying to discuss with the ATP and we have actually had some conversations with them on trying to understand how we can work together, because PTPA's position was never to oppose ATP or ITF or WTA or anybody."

Djokovic has repeatedly said the new Professional Tennis Players Association he's formed with Pospisil and more than 200 of their ATP colleagues will focus on representing Top 500-ranked singles players and Top 200-ranked doubles players and aims to give players a voice in the sport's politics.

World No. 1 Djokovic, John Isner, Pospisil and Sam Querrey left the ATP Player Council to become part of the Professional Tennis Players Association.  When announcing the creation of the PTPA in August, the eight-time Australian Open champion said he was confident the new association could co-exist peacefully and productively with the ATP.

However the new ruling by the ATP has changed the former ATP Player Council President's perspective.

Tennis Express

Now, Djokovic says the PTPA will consider other "strategic positions" in response.

"We know what we deserve as players, and we are just trying to fight for a better position and better treatment out there in the ecosystem, and that's all there is," Djokovic said. "It's unfortunate really to see that the ATP's position is such, as the rule that they have voted on, but okay, now we know where we stand.

"So then we obviously have to consider other strategic, I would say, positions and we have to consider our next move in a different way. We'll see what happens."

Photo credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images/ATP Cup Facebook