Melbourne - Novak Djokovic has called for more consideration
of players' welfare amid growing demands from extra tournaments yet no sign of
shorter seasons to help their recovery.
Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam champion who is also
president of the ATP players' council, spoke after reaching the third round at
the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday.
"Our sport has become an industry, like most of the
other global sports. It's more business than a sport," he said.
"Of course, we're all blessed to have a great financial
compensations, great lives. For sure, I'm very grateful for that.
"(But) at the same time what is most important for us
is our health and what happens after our career, after you're 30, 35.
"There are many players that are struggling. They can't
physically walk, run, jog, whatever. I mean, they're struggling some way or
Djokovic said there was little indication that players were
going to have any form of discussion with the sport's chiefs for a shorter
"We're just adding events, official events, unofficial
events. It feels, from a player's perspective, that you're kind of always in a
rush," he said.
"You're always obliged to play the mandatory events.
You obviously have always a big challenge to defend (rankings) points because
it affects everything.
"You're always constantly, week after week, being part
of that dynamic of our sport, which at times seems a bit too much."
Djokovic said there should be rational conversations about
rules that are imposed and that concern players' well-being.