Vasek Pospisil Hits Out At Fellow ATP Council Members Federer And Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Vasek Pospisil Hits Out At Fellow ATP Council Members Federer And Nadal

The Canadian has said the two members of the Big Three should not be the main people negotiating pay for players on the tour.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 21: Vasek Pospisil of Canada in action during the quarter final match between Australia and Canada of Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 21, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto / Kosmos Tennis)

This year has seen the men’s tour hit by various political disagreements concerning a range of topics. So when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal returned to the ATP Players Council, it was hoped that those disagreements would soon disappear. However, this has failed to be the case.

Vasek Pospisil, who is also a member of the 12-person council, has criticised the two grand slam champions over their commitment to increasing the percentage of the sports revenue issued to players. The 29-year-old is a vocal supporter to changes being made. In August Pospisil said that only 14% of the revenue is currently given to players. In an article written for The Globe and Mail, he argued that the increase is needed in order to help the lower ranked players survive on the tour.

“Tennis has the lowest revenue sharing of all professional sports that have become a global business. Even the 14 percent is not an audited figure. This number could, potentially, be quite a bit less.” Pospisil wrote during the Rogers Cup.
“This low revenue share, in turn, means only a handful of tennis players can make a good living in a sport that makes billions of dollars and in which athletes have perhaps the highest out-of-pocket expenses compared with other sports.”

Calling for changes to be made, Pospisil has taken a swipe at both Federer and Nadal for their lack of commitment to his cause. The duo are one of three players to have made more than $100 million in prize money along with Novak Djokovic. Nadal represents top 50 players in the council and Federer is a member at-large.

“Unfortunately, they [Nadal and Federer] haven’t supported the movement,” Pospisil told The Daily Hive earlier this week.
“From my conversations with Roger and what they [Federer and Nadal] say in the press, I think they acknowledge that there’s an issue, but unfortunately, they haven’t followed with what the 80-plus top hundred players have signed on for.”

Disagreements and spats within the council is nothing new. The decision to remove Chris Kermode from his position as ATP CEO earlier this year triggered a divide between players as to if it was the right decision or not. Then there was also the turmoil surrounding former board member Justin Gimelstob, who was found guilty of assault, and who should replace him.

Speaking about his two rivals, Pospisil believes they are not the right people to be negotiating financial deals. Arguing that the task should be down to somebody with expertise in the area.

“They’re not they’re not the type of guys, in my opinion, that should be negotiating complicated details of financials and the way that money is distributed. We need guys that have studied that for decades.” He said.

As for council president Djokovic, the Canadian has hailed his work to improve the tour for all players and not just those at the top. The world No.2 has been previously accused of being a key driving force behind the removal of Kermode. Although there was never any conclusive evidence disclosed to the public that he did so.

“Novak has been incredible,” said Pospisil. “Honestly, I didn’t really know him too well before I got on the player council with him. We sort of bonded and in the sense that we both look at the issues the same way and we have very visions on how we think the tennis world needs to improve.”
“He’s sometimes misunderstood on the court. He’s he plays a lot of passion and fire, but honestly when in the player council room he’s really fighting for all the players, even lower-ranked guys.”

Pospisil is currently ranked 149th in the world. He has claimed that 70 top 100 players on the women’s tour support some kind of partnership regarding his push for an increased share of the revenue. Although Ubitennis are unable to confirm this.

List of ATP Council members

At-Large: Novak Djokovic – President
1-50 Singles: Kevin Anderson – Vice President
1-50 Singles: Rafael Nadal
1-50 Singles: John Isner
1-50 Singles: Sam Querrey
51-100 Singles: Yen-Hsun Lu
51-100 Singles: Vasek Pospisil
1-100 Doubles: Jurgen Melzer
1-100 Doubles: Bruno Soares
At-Large: Roger Federer
Coach: Brad Stine
Alumni: Colin Dowdeswell

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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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