Novak Djokovic turned on the fan, exposed the inner workings of the ATP and raised alarm about the fate of tennis

Novak Djokovic turned on the fan, exposed the inner workings of the ATP and raised alarm about the fate of tennis

In a globalized world where everything is connected and tennis is no exception, Novak Djokovicone of its greatest exponents and the most successful in the history of this sport, shook with his statements in Wimbledon. They are not controversial or polemical statements, but rather a call to unite in having a very clear idea that things must change, because otherwise Tennis will suffer much more.

Djokovic spoke of the potential that still exists in tennis to be able to generate much more money and move from marketing and finances to generate greater income.

He also spoke of the difficulties that arise in a sport that needs great figures, but in which to enter or Only 300 or 400 people can make a living from tennisadding singles, doubles, men and women. And he made it clear that prizes are a big obstacle for those at the bottom, but not for the champion of a Grand Slam.

My assessment is that it suggests that there are no other Djokovics who never made it due to financial problems, because they did not have the capacity to take the costly path to professionalism.

It clearly calls for a call to attention to the International Tennis Federationwhich brings together all the Grand Slams and is responsible for promoting the sport worldwide and through its federations. But it also clearly did so with the ATP when it talks about the distribution of moneyDjokovic has created a parallel association to the ATP, which brings together players, since his vision does not coincide with the direction and line of the ATP.

Novak Djokovic invited reflection with his words at Wimbledon. Photo Reuters

These words from Djokovic make all the tennis establishments have to think, reflect and analyze, something that is always very welcome and I am glad that he did it, because he did it in a way that He did not cast blame but called on everyone to reflect..

When you start to break it down a little, this is clearly like a chain where the first and last links end up related, united and in need.

There is talk of the hyper-professional part and Djokovic spoke of achieving greater income through new marketing policies, new strategies, creating other paths and, why not, another circuit.

One might wonder what this has to do with that first link in the chain, that club that has a little tennis school and a teacher with his racket full of passion and vocation to teach. Quite simply, that All the great figures of tennis started there.

Djokovic calls for reflection with this comment that padel and pickleball They are in a way challenging tennis, they are making it uncomfortable and making it feel that even though it is the “mother racket” sport, it has competition in what for many could be a game. I do not want to go into analyzing whether they are sports, whether they are games or whether they are up to par.

Pickleball is taking away the market share from tennis in clubs, according to Novak Djokovic.

What can be concluded from Djokovic’s statements is that the problems are different in different regions of the world. Serbia, where there are no resources – as in South America – is not the same as the United States, France, Italy or a good number of European countries. The truth is that what is needed is for more children to be able to access tennis.

What Djokovic showed is that clubs are transforming their tennis courts into padel courts or tennis courts. pickleball because it ends up being something much more profitable. And what he is trying to say is that if one or more of the links in the tennis chain is cut, the chain at the top is also cut. Because if great figures do not arrive and they forget about training, about the importance of the support of the federations in initiation, in popularization so that tennis can be in schools, neighborhoods, the street…

Today, unlike in the 60s or 70s, tennis is much more accessible from a material point of view. But it is clearly a very complex sport to learn and children often shy away from the long process, among other reasons, due to issues that have to do with the immediacy of children.

Djokovic’s reflection makes it clear that this world has many facets. The International Federation, in charge of promoting sport at a global level but also in the hyper-professional part. The ATP, an institution that brings together players on the professional circuit and that internally has several short circuits and totally conflicting positions, to which Djokovic is raising his voice saying: “Be careful with what those at the bottom earn because it is not enough”And that leads to the loss of figures, values, talents that cannot be detected or that simply have not been able to sustain themselves over this long road.

The ITF and the ATP have to try to look and understand that tennis is one. The discussion today is also about the Grand Slams wanting to create an elite circuit of the 20 or 30 best in the world who will play in various countries using the Formula 1 model, so that it is known where and when they will participate. And that the rest continue playing a normal circuit.

Therefore, you can understand that there is a very high level of tension and conflict between the ITF and the ATP. What they cannot forget is that they share a sport that is played with the same ball, on the same courts, with the same dimensions and with the same great figures.

2024-07-09 16:08:27
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