In a poignant discourse with La Nacion, Argentinian tennis player Marco Trungelliti fervently praised Novak Djokovic for his indomitable efforts through the Professional Tennis Players' Association (PTPA), simultaneously lambasting tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for their conspicuous silence amid the continuing strife within the sport's community.
Trungelliti has navigated his own treacherous journey within the tennis world, notably exposing a match-fixing scandal in 2018 that saw fellow Argentinians Nicolas Kicker, Patricio Heras, and Federico Coria face suspensions. The move led to estrangement from his community and a necessitated relocation to Andorra for Trungelliti and his family. Recently returning to Argentina to compete in the Buenos Aires Challenger, his first in nearly five years, he didn’t shy away from sharing his unvarnished views on the lingering issue of match-fixing, especially within the ITF Futures.
In his assessment, “The Challenger level improved a little, but is still far away, the numbers don't show. Futures, however, are unsustainable. At least one match per day is arranged.”
Silence Amidst Tennis's Financial Struggles
Despite these improvements, he sharply criticizes Federer and Nadal, asserting their silence on systemic issues makes them complicit. "It seems indispensable to me. Whether they like it or not, Federer and Nadal never said anything. They are complicit in how bad the system is, because they were not able to open their mouths even once and fight for the rights of the players. If they ever did it, it was internally, but it didn't change anything," Trungelliti expressed with palpable frustration.
He was notably empathetic to the financial hardships encountered by lower-ranked players and tournaments, commending Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil for their valiant efforts to amplify players' financial rights through the PTPA.
Trungelliti lamented, "You cannot be complicit in the fact that 80-100 people live in tennis. It’s what always screwed me up and will continue to screw me up. As players, [Federer and Nadal] can be very good, but as humans trying to improve the system in general, they seem very poor to me."
Trungelliti, once ostracized for standing against corruption, now boldly hails Djokovic and Pospisil, envisioning a future where tennis luminaries unite against systemic failures and for the collective welfare of players at every rank. His candid reflections, potentially acting as a catalyst for further dialogue, stand against the background of the sport’s most golden era, urging it to confront and dismantle its deep-seated issues.