Vienna Open director slams Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, claims they broke ATP rules

Rafael Nadal could pip Novak Djokovic to year-end number one if he wins US Open

ATP tournament Vienna Open director Edwin Weindorfer has slammed Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for missing the tournament to play an exhibition match in Kazakhstan.

The current world no.1 & 2 are set to play in a charity match on 24th October because of which they will be unable to take part in the Vienna Open, which runs from 19th to 24th October. The event’s director slammed the duo for making themselves unavailable for the tournament and claimed that they broke ATP rules in doing so.

Nadal and Djokovic, however, did get prior permission from ATP chief Chris Kermode.

“I do not think it’s good that there are exhibitions ongoing during ATP events. Players are ATP members. There is an offseason after the ATP Finals and anybody can play during that time,” Weindorfer said as reported by Express.

“There was approval from ATP CEO Chris Kermode because, per rules, during ATP tournaments, an exhibition match cannot be held. So we need to respect that,” he added.

According to ATP rules, a player cannot play an exhibition match ‘Within the tournament weeks of any ATP Tour Masters 1000 tournament, ATP Tour 500 tournament and the Nitto ATP Finals (singles or doubles)’.

However, they can take special permission as ‘a player has the right to petition the president or his designee for an exemption to these requirements unless otherwise specified above’.