Martina Navratilova says Novak Djokovic is ‘trying to do the right thing’ with the Professional Tennis Players’ Association, but she worries his tennis is suffering for it.
Djokovic quit the ATP Council in August to set up the new players union alongside Vasek Pospisil, but they have been met with significant resistance.
Djokovic has also faced some personal challenges since then, although he has still managed to win two Masters and reached a Grand Slam final.
“He thinks he’s doing the right thing,” Navratilova told the Irish Times. “I don’t agree with it but it’s his choice.
“It certainly didn’t seem to help his tennis. I think you’re better off . . . Not staying in your lane, but right now give your energy to that which helps you.
“That’s what I don’t understand. Purely from a logical point of view, when you are a champion tennis player, when you commit to the sport, your energy goes into that.
“Maybe to get away, you watch TV, maybe you do some woodworking, maybe you get into stitching shawls. That helps you relax and it gives you energy.”
On the wider issue itself, Navratilova has also questioned whether the PTPA is what tennis needs right now given the plethora of other issues with which it is trying to contend.
“This is not helpful on any level. Do that when you stop playing tennis but it’s controversial and not helpful.
“During Covid, you’re trying to divide us further when we should be trying to bring the game together and trying to figure out how to play tournaments without people getting sick and dying from Covid?
“Let’s stay with that problem rather than creating one we don’t need.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?