'It's not right': Nasty tennis divide simmers at Miami Open

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) pointing to his head at the Australian Open and Vasek Pospisil (pictured right) fuming at the Miami Open.
Tensions are boiling over at the Miami Open after a divide grows between the PTPA breakaway group, started by Novak Djokovic (pictured left) and Vasek Pospisil (pictured right), and the ATP. (Getty Images)

The tennis world continues to be divided after a number of disgruntled players hit out at the ATP at the Miami Open more than seven months after the formation of the breakaway Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil started the (PTPA) more than seven months ago, which was extremely divisive in the tennis community.

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The issue became a talking point at the Miami Open when Pospisil has labelled the ATP boss a "f***ing a**hole" in an explosive on-court meltdown.

He went on an extraordinary expletive-laden tirade to chair umpire Arnaud Gabas about ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

"An hour and a half the chair of the ATP f***ing screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players," Pospisil said to Gabas.

"For an an hour and a half ... The leader of the ATP... F***ing a***hole.

"If you want to default me, I'll gladly sue this whole organisation."

The Canadian received plenty of support following his tirade, including from Djokovic and Milos Raonic.

"I am empathise with him wholeheartedly," Djokovic said, before asking for the players to stand together.

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Denis Shapovalov hits out at ATP

On Monday, Canadian Shapovalov also weighed-in on the debate and hit out at the ATP.

"I’m definitely on the side of the PTPA," he said after his victory.

"I think we are not under-represented, but I think there are ways that we could be represented better…they just tell us to go play tennis.

"In my opinion, It’s not right. They shouldn’t talk to us like that if we’re partners."

But leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg, who broke the news a player group was looking to break away from the ATP, pointed out little progress has been made as an organisation.

He claimed the ATP were clearly taking the 'threat' of the PTPA seriously, but the independent body was still 'embryonic' sevenths months on.

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But tensions continue to simmer.

Prize money has been a huge argument following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic on the tennis world.

One recent example was the Maimi Open's near 60 per cent cut of the prize pool money for the 2021 tournament.

American John Isner pointed out the issue, along with Shapovalov, and said the players seemed to be doing it the toughest.

He also hinted better times were coming for the players.

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"Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency," he wrote on Twitter.

"So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?"

While tensions begin to boil over in Miami, the tennis world awaits Djokovic's next tournament appearance where he will most likely be pressed on the PTPA's next move.

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