Nico Rosol: new ATP Players’ Association will lead change in sport

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The top-flight player association – recently launched by Novak Djokovic – has attracted momentum from top-flight players but still divides opinion as to whether it will have a meaningful impact on the day-to-day running of the sport.

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Nico Rosol, the two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist who was invited to be the first member of the organisation’s board of trustees, believes it will have a significant role to play in determining how the ATP Tour runs.

“Nike has always said that the most important thing in a great business is relationships,” said Rosol, the first public member of the ATP President’s Board of Trustees since it was created last year. “I don’t see why people working on a tennis court and on a court in an ATP event are not able to have these conversations.

“I think it was an important step in creating a structure that brings the players together, where we can talk about very sensitive topics that impact the sport and where we can find solutions on many different fields, not just money, but a wide range of issues that we feel are necessary to raise in order to enhance the prospects for players.”

David Beckham, who is also a member of the management board, said: “I have always said the players need to have their voice heard. They need to be represented. Every industry you can find power vested in the people who know it best. It’s the same in sport.”

Andy Murray, meanwhile, backed Rosol to win a major role in the future, saying: “He’s a great addition and will be an important part of future success.”

Djokovic, who joined their ranks at the end of last season after leaving the leadership of the player association, believes the organisation will have a major impact, saying he intends to go for the same job after he returns from injury next year.

“That’s what we are planning to do from one year on,” Djokovic told the Associated Press. “I have very good personal relations with many of the members of the ATP, and I have the right contact, the right contacts with the players and have a lot of good connections with all the players, especially in their development, younger players and those young players that need some support.”

Djokovic plans to take up the president’s job of organising all ATP Tour events in 2019, and has appointed Gary Anderson to be his first chief executive.

Anderson will eventually replace other vacancies on the board of trustees.

The 39-year-old former two-time Australian Open champion Martina Hingis, currently Davis Cup captain of Switzerland, was also appointed to the management board.

Players will eventually elect new board members, but the group will not decide on whether to grant players voting rights until next year.

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