A behind-the-scenes move to unionize ATP players, led by ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic, drew varying reactions as it became publicly known on the opening day of the Australian Open.
According to the Daily Mail, it occurred at the annual player meeting three days before the Australian Open, where attendance is required for ATP players. Before the meeting finished, Djokovic got up and said he would like to speak to the players, requesting that ATP officials and board members leave the room. The Serb then invited an Australian attorney to explain the process of forming a union, said the newspaper.
"People were shocked," a player was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying. "There may have been a few who knew about this, but most didn’t."
Djokovic was not playing on the opening day of the tournament, but he was on the grounds practicing. "I have no comment to make on that," he told Fairfax Media when asked about the meeting.
Rafael Nadal also declined to get into the issue following his first-round victory, saying, "There is always an issue here in Australia. I really believe that there is plenty of time [to] speak about things. But now is the moment, for me personally, to play tennis and to try my best on court."