Djokovic Denies Claims That He Would Boycott Australian Open Over Financial Demands
Novak Djokovic is "strongly denying claims that he would consider boycotting next year's Australian Open if financial demands weren't met," according to Sam McClure of the Melbourne AGE. Several reports emerged early in the week about a players' meeting on Friday, in which it was claimed Djokovic "called for players to push for a greater share of the game's profits." While Djokovic "admitted that there was a portion of the meeting where only players were present, he shut down any talk of a potential boycott" in '19. He said the reports "were false." Djokovic: "Players just wanted to talk about certain topics, I don't think there's anything unhealthy about that. We wanted to use this opportunity to speak about certain subjects and see how everyone reacts to that and see what the opinions are. There was no talk about boycotts or anything like that." McClure notes while the notion of a players' union has been discussed in tennis for some time now, Djokovic said that it "wasn't mentioned by the players in the meeting, and also denied a report that an Australian lawyer was present in the meeting." One thing that Djokovic "didn't deny, however, is whether the players had begun discussions to increase their slice of the pie when it came to profits generated by the game" (Melbourne AGE, 1/17). The AP's Justin Bergman notes Djokovic acknowledged the sport is "moving in the right direction on issues related to prize money, though work remains to be done." Djokovic: "I’m part of the council, but I don’t sit on these negotiation tables. I’m just glad that I’m part of it, that I can contribute to a better sport today, and the future" (AP, 1/16).