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Djokovic says women to be part of new players’ association

Rivals: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - Ben STANSALL / ©AFP
Rivals: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - Ben STANSALL / ©AFP

(AFP)

Novak Djokovic said Friday that women will be a part of his proposed new players’ association that is sending shockwaves through world tennis.

The world number one said he had been talking to female players at the US Open this week to try get them onboard.

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“There’s been a lot of talk about this being an only men’s association and it’s not true,” Djokovic told reporters following his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 third round win over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

He said he hoped women would join the controversial new union “in big numbers.”

The Serbian added that he had spoken to Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens about the project.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal spoke out against the proposal when it was announced at the weekend. They called for “unity, not separation.”

Djokovic says the new association is intended to bring players together to give them a louder voice in decision-making.

He insists it would not form a rival tour to the ATP or WTA, or seek to boycott tournaments.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner added that he was “happy” to have received 150 signatures supporting the union.

He added, though, that he had been “unpleasantly surprised” by the reaction of some players.

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