SBD/November 18, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

ATP BOD To Meet This Weekend To Possibly Choose A Successor To Adam Helfant

The ATP BOD begins meeting this weekend in London to possibly choose a successor to outgoing Exec Chair & President Adam Helfant. The board may choose Richard Krajicek, a former Wimbledon champion and current director of the Rotterdam tournament, whom top players including Rafael Nadal back, sources said. Tournament reps, however, favor elevating ATP Chief Legal Officer Mark Young or ATP CEO of the Asia-Pacific region Brad Drewett. There has been some talk of a dual role, given that Krajicek's business background is limited. In fact, sources said Roger Federer opposes the former player’s ascension for that reason. If the board is unable to select a winner, it may need to hire a headhunting firm to find new candidates, ensuring the tour goes into '12 without a new leader. The ATP is an unusual grouping of management and labor interests, and it has existed uneasily side-by-side under the same roof since the inception of the modern ATP in '90.  However, recent leaders have found it hard to not be seen as aligning with one side. Helfant’s predecessor, Etienne de Villiers lasted four years and was seen as pro-tournament. Helfant has the opposite reputation and he will have lasted three campaigns. If Krajicek and Young were to have a power-sharing venture, the question would then be which one gets the vote on the seven-member board. There are three players reps, three tournament reps, and the leader of the ATP. One source said the only given this weekend is to expect fireworks in the meeting room.
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