The U.S. Open is upon us, and as if the road to the tennis Grand Slam event wasn’t rocky enough, a few men’s players are bringing an extra dose of drama to the tournament.
The GIST: The U.S. Open is upon us, and as if the road to the tennis Grand Slam event wasn’t rocky enough, a few men’s players are bringing an extra dose of drama to the tournament.
Classic. What’s up?: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH), American John Isner and Canadian Vasek Pospisil — all recently resigned ATP Player Council members who have been disheartened by the ATP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (ironic) — are leading the charge on a new proposed players union, called the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).
- Pospisil cited the main goal of the union is “to unify the players, have our voices heard and have an impact on decisions being made that affect our lives and livelihoods.” They’ll represent the top 500 men’s singles and top 200 men’s doubles players and will fight for better playing conditions and bigger paychecks (especially for the lower-ranked players).
And this is a good thing?: Yes and no. While it is admirable to see these players unite to improve their conditions and wages, there are some glaring issues. For starters, the PTPA does not include women. Like, not one. And though they clarified that there is “active dialogue with the women’s side,” they still went ahead without them. Novak, why are you being such a skeez?
- The other members of the “Big Four” — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray — are against the new union. We’ll keep an eye on how this plays out, but we won’t be sold on it until we see some real representation. *paging Serena Williams*
Okay, so what about the U.S. Open?: Right! Djokovic is the heavy favorite to win on the men’s side. The women’s side, however, is wide open. Serena Williams is playing for her historic 24th Grand Slam win, top seeded Karolína Plíšková is looking for her first-ever Grand Slam title and Aussie Open champ Sofia Kenin wants her second of the year. Unfortunately, 2018 champ Naomi Osaka’s run for a third Grand Slam could be in jeopardy due to a hamstring injury.