Herwig Straka, a member of the Board of Directors of the ATP, has accused players of trying to destabilize the organisation due to personal interests and animosities.
Straka, who is himself tournament Director of the Vienna Open and manager of Dominic Thiem, has said that some players are being ‘martyrs’, specifically naming Vasek Pospisil in his comments.
Pospisil, along with Novak Djokovic, stepped down from the ATP Players Council in 2020 to set up their own independent Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) which a number of players agreed to join.
According to Pospisil, the PTPA intended to “unify the players, have our voices heard and have an impact on decisions being made that effect our lives and livelihoods.”
But the new union wasn’t supported by everyone, with notably Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal speaking out against it which has led to division amongst the players as a whole.
The issue came to a head recently when Pospisil revealed in an on-court outburst at the Miami Open that the ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi had ‘screamed at him for over an hour for trying to unite the players’ the night before.
He later apologised on social media for his behaviour, but said that the conflict had took its toll on his emotions. He was supported on social media by Novak Djokovic amongst other players.
Now Straka has spoken out about the issue and says he agrees with cutting the players prize money and that some players, including Pospisil don’t have the necessary understanding.
“There is an interest on the part of some players in destabilizing the association. But this is due to personal interests and animosities,” Straka claimed.
“It’s a shame, as the ATP is an organization in which the players have 50 percent of the right to make decisions. You won’t find it anywhere else.”
The reduction of prize money during the coronavirus pandemic is something that a lot of players have spoken out on, with many saying they are finding it difficult to cover costs or motivate themselves to play.
“If you don’t reduce the prize money in times of corona, there will be no more tournaments” said Straka.
“It’s like a company: either you cut your salaries and cut a few jobs, or the company goes bankrupt. Anything else would be economic suicide.
“Most players have the necessary understanding for this, only some have to slip into the role of martyrs. Vasek Pospisil is just one of these critics.”
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