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World number one Novak Djokovic has resigned as president of the ATP player council to front a new association aiming to increase the power of the players.

But he faces opposition from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who remain members of the council.

Players wishing to sign up for the Professional Tennis Players' Association were due to meet on Saturday night in New York, where the US Open begins on Monday.

Djokovic first raised the idea of a players' union at the 2018 Australian Open. Since then a number of his peers have been agitating for a greater share of the revenue generated by the Grand Slams, in particular.

"I have read in the letter from the ATP that they think the ATP cannot co-exist with this association. I have to respectfully disagree," Djokovic said after winning the Western and Southern Open on Saturday.

"Legally, we are 100% safe, and we are allowed to form the player association. We are not calling for boycotts, we are not forming parallel tours. This is an important step for players, and for the sport as well.

"We just want to have our own organisation, that is 100% ours. We are definitely going to try and work with ATP, and all the governing bodies."

World number two Nadal, who is not playing in the US Open, had already made clear his opposition in a post on Twitter.

"The world is living a difficult and complicated situation. I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction," the Spaniard said.

"It is time for unity, not for separation. These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united."

Shortly afterwards, Federer, who is also absent from New York, retweeted Nadal's post and added: "I agree. These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it's critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward."

Since the ATP Tour sprang into life in 1990, the players and the tournaments have, in theory, had an equal voice. There are three player representatives and three tournament representatives on the ATP board. If there is deadlock, the chairman has the right to a casting vote.

The former top-20 player Andrea Gaudenzi took over as chairman in January. Disappointment in his performance is one of the reasons 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic will join the new association.

"A lot of us were kept in the dark by our leadership for six months," the Canadian said.

"We were disappointed with many things. As tennis players, we weren't making a dime for months and months. But our executives were staying home and didn't feel it necessary to take any pay cuts.

"We have a former player leading us. I hope they step up and they work a bit more with the players like we would have expected from a former player."

But British number one Dan Evans told BBC Sport he will not be signing up.

"It's not great timing, and I don't believe in what they are saying, to be honest," he said.

"A lot of players do [seem to be in support], but with not a lot of information. Tennis players are funny - once you mention a bit of money they seem to follow that way.

"We just have to be a little bit careful what we could turn the tour into if this does happen."

At last year's US Open, the idea of an association of both male and female players was gathering momentum. The fact this is a male-only venture is one of the reasons Britain's Andy Murray will not yet be joining.

"I'm not totally against a player union," the former world number one said.

"But I feel like the current management that are in place should be given some time to implement their vision, and I feel like that would send a much more powerful message if the WTA were on board with it as well."

In a statement, the ATP Tour said: "We recognise the challenges that our members face in today's circumstances. However, we strongly believe that now is a time for unity, rather than internal division.

"We remain unwavering in our commitment to deliver for our players across all areas of our business, ensuring they receive maximum benefit from their years on Tour, and that their voices are heard."

They received support, too, from the WTA, the ITF and the four Grand Slams, who said in a statement: "It is a time for even greater collaboration, not division; a time to consider and act in the best interests of the sport, now and for the future. When we work together, we are a stronger sport."

 

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And please give it up for double's #1 Jamie Murr-

Delighted with that. I mean I don't even dislike Djokovic or anything, actually think he seems a decent guy but I'm so sick of his endless winning that I actively want him to lose basically every matc

He reverts back to being Scottish and not British.

I find it hard to see Murray going far. He's had some good performances this year, but he can't seem to string more than a couple together in the same tournament. I just can't envisage him staying injury-free over two weeks of five-set matches.

Cameron Norrie had a great win yesterday, coming from two sets down to beat ninth seed Diego Schwartzman. Kyle Edmund won too and will have to face Novak Djokovic next.

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Nishioka has taken the first set.

EDIT: And the second, but Murray won the third set on a tiebreak.

And now a 5th set decider. I didn't want an early night anyway.

Murray takes it!

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Feels a bit harsh to me, it's not as if it was deliberate or particularly forceful. That said he's been a twat this year so I don't really care...

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Is there much precedent? I don't watch a huge amount of tennis outside the majors and I'm sure it must happen, but I can't remember seeing it.

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Nalbandian a few years ago at Queens when he kicked an advertising board into the shin of a line judge during the final and Denis Shapovalov in the Davis Cuo are the most recent big ones, Henman at Wimbledon 1995 in the doubles is more accurate to what happened here.

According to the court mics, Djokovic's defence was:

"She doesn't have to go to the hospital for this." He added: "You're going to choose a default in this situation? My career, Grand Slam, centre stage."

I assume you can just injure anyone in the vicinity and it's fine if they don't have to go to hospital.

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Pretty much all media, reporters, tennis players are all saying it's the correct decision in the context of the sport and, if anything, that they debated it for so long was probably down to the stature of the player - a lesser ranked player would have been DQ'd immediately. 

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He's done it before too, at the French Open but the ball just missed hitting the line judge so he wasn't DQed.

It's the right decision. His pleading arrogance sums him up, he did it accidentally but also out of frustration because he'd just had his serve broken and it put Carreno Busta on the brink of winning the opening set.

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The video BBC are showing of his "I'm above everyone so I'm not arsed about this issue" from 4 years ago speaks volumes. Definitely the right call to DQ him, accidental or otherwise.

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So the finals will be Osaka vs. Azarenka and Thiem vs. Zverev. This is a rare occasion on which the men's competition has been more open than the women's.

Thiem or Zverev will become the first male singles Grand Slam winner born in the 1990s, which is quite amazing. Tennis used to be thought of as a young person's game, so it's a testament to how good Federer, Nadal and Djokovic has been that there are no male Grand Slam winners under the age of 30.

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I'm glad for Thiem. He lost his previous three Grand Slam finals and had the harder route to the final, so he was the sentimental favourite.

A piece of trivia I found interesting was that Naomi Osaka was the first woman to win the final from a set down since 1994. You'd think that would be more common in three-set matches.

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