Djokovic urges talks 'behind closed doors'
Novak Djokovic today called for talks to improve conditions in tennis to be kept "behind closed doors" after a public disagreement between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the Australian Open.sports Updated: Jan 17, 2012 12:06 IST
Novak Djokovic on Tuesday called for talks to improve conditions in tennis to be kept "behind closed doors" after a public disagreement between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the Australian Open.
Players on Saturday met new men's tour chief Brad Drewett in Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Open and are reportedly unhappy over Davis Cup scheduling and their share of prize money at grand slams, among other issues.
After the players' meeting Rafael Nadal accused Roger Federer of not doing enough to back fellow professionals, exposing a rift between the two long-time rivals on how to improve conditions.
"It's obvious that there are a lot of players in men's tennis that are, you know, complaining about the schedule and season," said Djokovic, after cruising through his first round match in Melbourne against Paolo Lorenzi.
"They don't even need to say much. But just looking at the injuries that we have, especially from the top players, including myself... it's obvious that we need some change.
"But I prefer talking in detail about these things more behind closed doors."
Federer on Monday said he had no hard feelings towards world number two Nadal, who admitted that he regretted making his comments in public.
However, a strong mood for change remains in the air at the Australian Open, with many players voicing their desire for better conditions.
Russia's Alex Bogomolov Jr, who earlier tweeted strong support for a players' strike, said it was inspiring to see players united -- but he backed away from calls for a walk-out.
"Everybody is on the same page and everybody wants to grow the game and make it better. We'll see what happens," Bogomolov Jr said on Tuesday.
"So as far as the tweet, I was very excited as far as how the players were united. I've never been to a meeting like that before in my life. I know all these guys for 12 years already," he added.
"The way everybody is sticking by each other, the way everybody is on the same page, is inspiring."
Bogomolov, 28, said he was trying to improve the game for the next generation of players and the formation of a union was inevitable.
First Published: Jan 17, 2012 12:00 IST