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Novak Djokovic shocks the tennis world with new pay demands

16 January, 2018, 04:05 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • President of the ATP Tour player council Novak Djokovic

Tennis star Novak Djokovic reportedly shocked fellow players after he hijacked a players meeting in Melbourne to demand a dramatic pay rise.

The Serb has already pocked £81.5million in prize money over the years but believes tennis stars are still underpaid in comparison to other sports stars.

A report from the Daily Mail claims that the 12-time Grand Slam victor, who has won six titles in Melbourne, asked officials from Tennis Australia and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to leave the tournament's annual player meeting on Friday before making the appeal.

A lawyer joined Djokovic on stage to explain the legalities of forming a union but many were shocked by proceedings.

The players had earlier in the evening been given a presentation by the Australian Open in which plans were revealed to nearly double the overall purse for the Melbourne tournament from its present Aus$55m to Aus$100m (£57.2m) in the next five or six years. Many players are now coming forward to either support of decline Djokovic's offering.

Craig Tiley, the Australian Open's tournament director, made his presentation to around 150 male players - for whom this is the one meeting of the year that is mandatory - and then left as scheduled.

Djokovic is demanding an increase in the amount players make. That had finished when Djokovic walked up from the floor and took to the stage and announced he wished to speak, asking politely for all non-players present to leave.

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Djokovic had an Australian lawyer present as he laid out his plans to form a separate branch and let the players know of any technical difficulties that may arise if they chose to form such a union.

"There may have been a few who knew about this, but most didn't".

The Daily Mail reported that several players, such as world No. 4 Alexander Zverev, have publically endorsed Djokovic's bombshell.

Do you think the prize money should be increased for tennis players?

Among those present for the compulsory gathering were fellow Grand Slam champions Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits, which has existed in its current player-tournament partnership since 1990, represents the combined but sometimes conflicting interests of the players and the tournaments.

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