In 2020, Novak Djokovic led the formation of the PTPA, establishing it as a representative body for tennis players. To date, it has championed the cause of tennis players, focusing on protecting their rights and addressing their issues. However, it faced criticism for its lack of inclusion of female players. A significant development happened earlier this year when the PTPA introduced an executive committee.
The executive committee comprises four ATP players and four WTA players. Among them is Ons Jabeur, the current world No. 7 and a three-time major finalist, who has made a firm commitment to work for the cause of PTPA. Jabeur observed that the PTPA’s impact became evident as more players were stepping forward to address issues they were dissatisfied with and desired change.
She emphasized the role of PPTA to address the issues of women players. Given her current ranking and status as a prominent player, Jabeur said that she could be the much-needed voice for the women players whose concerns go into oblivion. She asserts, “Before, if I talked, nobody would listen bc I wasn’t in the top 10 & I wasn’t a top player, but now they listen. Now they would care about my opinion.”
Ons Jabeur says it’s wrong to only listen to the voices of the top players:
“Before, if I talked, nobody would listen bc I wasn’t in the top 10 & I wasn’t a top player, but now they listen. Now they would care about my opinion. I feel like it’s wrong to only listen to the top… pic.twitter.com/hyuh5F3SGq
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 23, 2023
However, she says that it is a wrong precedence to listen only to a top player, nevertheless, Jabeur wants to represent women players now. Jabeur states, “I feel like it’s wrong to only listen to the top players, but for me, I feel like I need to make a difference right now. I need to speak up for every woman about what’s wrong & what could be better.”
In her role as executive committee member, Ons Jabeur has vowed to become the voice of underrepresented women’s players. She wants to acknowledge, address, and ultimately resolve the issues of women players.
Ons Jabeur supports Djokovic in fulfilling PTPA’s goals
Ons Jabeur supports Novak Djokovic totally in her new role as a member of the PTPA’s Executive Committee. She shares Djokovic’s strong conviction that tennis must do more to ensure that professional players can make a decent living from the sport. Jabeur, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, has faced her fair share of challenges throughout her career, especially in its early stages.
A call for change resonates louder within the world of professional tennis day by day.
— Professional Tennis Players Association (@ptpaplayers) September 18, 2023
In agreement with Djokovic, Jabeur emphasizes the need for better compensation for players beyond the top rankings. She says, “Like Novak said, we’re the 3rd most watched sport in the world & barely a few players can make a living out of this.”
Ons Jabeur says the top 500 players in the world should be able to make a living playing tennis:
“If you know me & you know my personality, I really like to help players. I truly love this sport. I believe the sport deserves much better. Like Novak said, we’re the 3rd most… pic.twitter.com/Mz2KshOJtB
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 12, 2023
Hailing from a small country like Tunisia, much like Djokovic, Jabeur recalls the difficult moments she endured initially, empathizing with players who are struggling financially. She states, “I see so many players that struggle like I struggled back in the days. For me, such a beautiful sport watched by a lot of people, there should be a lot more money in it.”
Djokovic initiated the PTPA to increase prize money for lower-ranked players, a goal that deeply connects with her. Jabeur hopes to see players in the top 500 are adequately paid, allowing them to focus on enjoying the sport without financial worries like coaching and traveling.