Novak Djokovic `comfortable & # 39; as Justin Gimelstob …

Novak Djokovic found himself in the muddy waters of tennis politics one day before the start of the Australian Open on Monday.

If 2018 was a tumultuous year behind the scenes, then there is every indication that this season could outperform it, with most of the drama currently concentrating on the ATP.

As head of the ATP Player Council and world number one, Djokovic is a powerful figure in the game and someone who has a strong opinion about how the sport should be performed.

Novak Djokovic is head of the ATP Player Council (Aaron Favila / AP)

Novak Djokovic is head of the ATP Player Council (Aaron Favila / AP)

The players have three representatives on the main ATP board. One of them, the former American player and coach Justin Gimelstob, is currently waiting for a trial for accusation, which he denies.

The players' council came under fire because Gimelstob could stay at his post and Djokovic spoke about the issue for the first time, Djokovic said: "I am comfortable, like all council members.

"It is clear that this is a continuous process and a process, all of which are accusations at the moment: if he is not found guilty, he remains innocent, or he is found guilty, that is a very different situation for us and we must address it.

"He has been someone who has always fought for the player's rights and has represented players in a great way."

Justin Gimelstob stays on the ATP board (Steven Paston / PA)

Justin Gimelstob stays on the ATP board (Steven Paston / PA)

Justin Gimelstob stays on the ATP board (Steven Paston / PA)

The tournaments also have three representatives, with executive chairman and president Chris Kermode leading the organization.

The Londoner has been in office for five years, but his current term expires at the end of the season and it has been announced that the players are preparing to vote against the wishes of the tournament.

The problem was discussed at a players council meeting on Saturday, but Djokovic refused to reveal the board's intentions and said, "The decision has not been made about the president.

"He is still president, he will remain president until the end of his term, whether there is an extension or not, it will be decided in the next period."

Chris Kermode & # 39; s term as executive chairman expires at the end of the season (John Walton / PA)

Chris Kermode & # 39; s term as executive chairman expires at the end of the season (John Walton / PA)

Chris Kermode & # 39; s term as executive chairman expires at the end of the season (John Walton / PA)

It was in Melbourne last year where Djokovic spoke to a players' meeting calling on the collective body to improve their interests and the issue of prize money.

Despite the wealth the Australian Open has to offer – the singles champions each earn more than £ 1.7 million – and the huge increases in grand slams in recent years, lower in the pyramid, it remains very difficult for players to earn a living .

Djokovic said: "We are satisfied with what happened to the slams in general, especially the Australian Open, not just prize money, but only the facilities, all the improvements that we get to see and experience.

Novak Djokovic wants more players to enjoy the sport (John Walton / PA)

Novak Djokovic wants more players to enjoy the sport (John Walton / PA)

Novak Djokovic wants more players to enjoy the sport (John Walton / PA)

"We continue to talk to the grand slams, it's a constant discussion, and some people, maybe even some media, come across this information as (though) I, as part of the board, some of the top players, who want more money for fighting ourselves, which is not true at all.

"We are focused on distribution and we are more focused on previous rounds, getting more job opportunities and increasing the number of tennis players that can live out of this sport."

Djokovic starts his campaign on the field against Mitchell Krueger qualifier on Tuesday, while his big rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are two of the main acts on the first day.

Roger Federer launches his Australian Open campaign against Denis Istomin (John Walton / PA)

Roger Federer launches his Australian Open campaign against Denis Istomin (John Walton / PA)

Roger Federer launches his Australian Open campaign against Denis Istomin (John Walton / PA)

After successfully defending his title 12 months ago, the rest of 2018 was less successful for Federer, but he arrived in Australia on the back of a very good preseason.

He said, "I think I could probably work a little harder than I thought I would, I did not miss a single session, I think I added on top of it.

"I play tennis well, I am confident that I think it takes a good performance from my opponent to beat me, which is always a good idea."

Federer takes on Denis Istomin, who upset Djokovic two years ago, while Nadal plays the Australian James Duckworth.

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