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Denying Claims Of Being 'Greedy', Novak Djokovic Responds To Boycott Claims

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| January 16 , 2018 , 19:26 IST

The 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic denied all rumours of him trying to convince the players during ATP tour for demanding an increase in the players' share of tournament revenue. Calling the act of portraying him as 'greedy', the 30-year-old expressed that the reports were exaggerated.

There were reports suggested that the Serbian tennis player took a lawyer with him to Melbourne for the ATP Player Council - a conference where 100s of players meet. The reports of him conspiring against the association arose when Novak asked all the non-players to leave the room while addressing the conference.

Djokovic reportedly talked his peers into creating a breakaway players union that could act as a separate entity to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Dismissing the speculations, Novak confirmed, "We, players, wanted to have us players talk about certain topics," adding, "I don't think there is anything unhealthy about that."

The viral reports suggested that the former World number one was willing to boycott next year's Australian Open to get his demands met. Slamming such reports while addressing the media post defeating American Donald Young on Tuesday, Novak claimed, "I respect your freedom and your decisions to do that but not much of what you wrote is true."

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"I saw that some of you have written a story that has been a bit exaggerated and you’ve taken things out of context and you’ve portrayed me as someone who is very greedy and asked for more money and asked for a boycott," Djokovic said.

When asked about the reason for him asking the non-players to leave the room, the tennis star clarified, "We wanted to use this opportunity to speak about certain subjects and see how everyone reacts to that and see what opinions are. There were no decisions being made, there was no talk of boycotts or anything like that — that’s all I can say really."

Losing patience with the media reporters, Novak stated, "Listen, I know you guys are trying to take this forward several steps. You talk about unions and boycotts and radical decisions to make and moves so we can get financial compensation the way we deserve it but there was no talk about that."

2018 Australian Open's prize money stands at $55 million which, according to the tournament director Craig Tiley represents a 10 percent increase from last year. Both the men and women's singles winners will be granted a $4 million prize money each. Reports also suggest that the total figure might double at next year’s tournament.