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The Professional Tennis Players Association Appoints Eight Players To First-Ever Executive Committee; Unveils Principles to Protect, Respect & Guarantee Fundamental Rights

– A diverse group of eight accomplished women’s and men’s professional tennis
players will join the PTPA leadership body centered on advancing player rights, growing and improving the business of tennis

– Today’s news includes the unveiling of the PTPA Principles designed as a roadmap for the Association’s advocacy work on behalf of all professional tennis players  –

MELBOURNE, Australia – January 11, 2023 – From the site of the Australian Open, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), global advocates for women’s and men’s professional tennis players, announced that eight players representing seven different nations have joined the first-ever PTPA Player Executive Committee. Throughout their careers, these players have achieved substantial individual and team success with a combined 124 women’s and men’s singles titles and 52 women’s and men’s doubles titles. Additionally, the PTPA has unveiled its comprehensive organizational principles to protect, respect and guarantee the fundamental rights of players.

The PTPA Player Executive Committee appointments are as follows:

  • PAULA BADOSA: (current No. 13 in the world) Spanish professional ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in women’s singles; winner of three women’s singles titles.
  • NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (current No. 5 in the world) PTPA co-founder and Serbian professional tennis player and winner of 21 Grand Slam men’s singles titles; winner of 96 men’s singles titles and one men’s doubles title.
  • HUBERT HURKACZ: (current No. 10 in the world) Polish professional; winner of five men’s singles titles and four men’s doubles titles.
  • JOHN ISNER: (current No. 41 in the world) American professional ranked as high as No. 8 in the world in men’s singles; winner of 16 men’s singles titles and eight men’s doubles titles.
  • ONS JABEUR:(current No. 2 in the world)Tunisian player and highest-ranked African and Arab tennis player in WTA and ATP history; winner of three women’s singles titles.
  • BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: American professional with nine Grand Slam titles (five in women’s doubles and four in mixed doubles); winner of 27 women’s doubles titles.
  • VASEK POSPISIL: (current No. 98 in the world) PTPA co-founder and Canadian professional ranked as high as No. 25 in men’s singles and No. 4 in men’s doubles; winner of seven men’s doubles titles.
  • SAISAI ZHENG: Chinese professional ranked as high as Nov. 34 in women’s singles; winner of one women’s singles title and five women’s doubles titles.

The eight founding Committee members will contribute their diversified perspectives and career experiences to this important new leadership body. They will help the Committee provide strategic leadership to build out the organization and advance the PTPA’s mission and business agenda.

“This organization was founded on the belief that every player must be respected, protected and guaranteed their rights, and the PTPA Principles will serve as our compass to ensure we live up to those standards. The PTPA will thrive only through collective voice and the strength and solidarity of the players. We are prepared to face both the challenges and opportunities ahead to advance the rights of all players,” said Pospisil.

“We are all unequivocally committed to representing every player during this incredibly important time in the sport of tennis. The sports entertainment environment is constantly evolving, and I have a particular focus on supporting and elevating women by aggressively pursuing and creating opportunities with a female focused approach. This too is a strong focus of the PTPA, represented by our organizational principles and for me personally. I am genuinely excited to make an impact and pioneer change,” said Mattek-Sands.

“We are grateful to have this extraordinarily accomplished and diverse group of women and men serve on our first Player Executive Committee. These individuals represent some of the strongest and most passionate voices in professional tennis, and they will have a profound impact on our efforts at the PTPA to serve all players,” said PTPA Executive Director Ahmad Nassar.

In addition to the Committee announcement, the PTPA unveiled a list of guiding principles designed to protect, respect and guarantee the fundamental rights of players. The PTPA Principles were developed by a broad group of advisors, supporters and current and former players, including the new Player Executive Committee. The Principles are established in accordance with the World Players Association’s Universal Declaration of Player Rights, which is grounded in international human rights law and core International Labour Organisation standards.

The five core tenets of the PTPA Principles are:

  1. Take collective action and advocate on behalf of tennis players globally
  2. Obtain players’ fair share of the business of tennis and terms of participation
  3. Optimize and rigorously protect tennis players’ rights
  4.  Safeguard tennis player’s’ welfare and protect players from abuse
  5. Advocate for, and contribute to, the best vision and structure of tennis globally

“For these principles to matter, it means putting them into practice. Their implementation will create the culture and infrastructure upon which the PTPA will be built and around which our leadership will focus their advocacy and business and program development efforts,” continued Mr. Nassar.

Some examples of PTPA Principles include:

  • Collective – Tennis is predominantly an individual sport, but that should not mean individual players are isolated and divided.
  • Right to Organize – Tennis players have the right to join the players association and to have their individual and collective rights maximized and protected.
  • Shared Success – Tennis players have the right to share fairly in the economic activity and wealth of tennis, which players have helped generate, underpinned by fair and just pay and working conditions.
  • Equitable Compensation – Tennis players have the right to equitable, percentage-based player prize money, as well as annual player minimum compensation.
  • Pension and Retirement – Tennis players have the right to world-class pensions and benefits.
  • Privacy and Personal Data – Tennis players have the right to a private life, privacy, and protection in relation to the collection, storage, transfer, and commercialization of personal data.
  • Equality of Opportunity – Tennis players are entitled to equality of opportunity in the pursuit of sport, free of discrimination, harassment, and violence.
  • Remedy – Tennis players must be able to access an effective remedy, through agreed, rights compliant dispute resolution mechanisms when their rights are not respected and upheld.
  • Anti-Doping – Tennis players must have a fair anti-doping program, administered by licensed independent personnel, with appropriate and updated scientifically determined thresholds in accordance with other major sports.  Players must be fully supported to exercise their due process rights to challenge positive tests in a timely manner.
  • Mental Health – Tennis players must have consistent access to world-class mental health resources.
  • Welfare & Transition – Tennis players should have more resources to help them transition into life on the professional circuits, during their career, and, at the appropriate time, transition out after their playing careers end.
  • Education & Advisory Support – Tennis players should have access to best-in-class financial, tax, legal, insurance, public relations, and health and wellness education and support.
  • Sport Structure – Tennis players should have a say on the structure of the sport (e.g., scheduling), with mechanisms to enable them to collectively provide substantive input and contribute to its direction.
  • Event Certification – The PTPA will explore certifying tournaments based on precise requirements in order to recognize those that treat players properly and incentivize others to do the same.

About the Professional Tennis Players Association:

The PTPA is uniting and mobilizing tennis players from around the globe to create transparency and fairness throughout decision-making in professional tennis. In August 2022, the PTPA launched Winners Alliance, a for-profit affiliate, to generate and maximize off-the-court commercial opportunities for players and their agents, emulating the successful model of players associations in other sports. Collectively, through the PTPA, professional tennis players are building an equitable and sustainable competitive environment for players today and for generations to come.

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