World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is proceeding with plans for the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) which he and fellow pro Vasek Pospisil are involved in starting.
In a meeting just before the US Open, they signed up around 150 ATP players, agreeing to take steps to form an association to explore player issues. Djokovic is playing Rome this week, his first event since being defaulted for hitting a stray ball at the US Open.
"The players association is going forward. I think it's very important for us players to have 100 percent player representation, and I feel we can actually be a positive addition to ATP and work together, because this is what we want," he told press.
Unlike Pospisil's previous attempt to approach the Grand Slams, there were questions when WTA players were not at first asked to be involved.
Djokovic said that's changed, confirming comments made during the US Open.
"We have, as I said again, we are not just men's players association. We want women to be involved," he said. "There are around 200 WTA players that signed."
The ATP has not reacted positively to the moves, and asked those who were also on the ATP Player Council to leave their positions. That included John Isner and Sam Querrey along with Djokovic and Pospisil.
But Djokovic noted he spoke to ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi in Rome this week.
"I did meet Andrea. We did have a player meeting, and he did a presentation for us. It was about two days ago. We stayed for about two-and-a-half hours. I stayed all the way through, and I had a chat with him, privately," said Djokovic.
The Serbian will also attempt to speak to Rafael Nadal, who is among the prominent players who have not signed up to the association and was among the Player Council members who sent a warning letter to others about joining.
"Maybe there will be time for that next week before Roland Garros when we don't have matches for maybe three, four days, maybe that would be a chance to do it," he said.
Djokovic is seeking his fifth Rome trophy and faces compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the third round Friday. The 33-year-old finished runner-up to Nadal in last year's final.