SBD/November 28, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

ATP BOD Meeting Ends Without A Successor For Adam Helfant Named

The ATP World Tour’s BOD meetings ended over the weekend after 10 days without electing a new leader, raising the chance the circuit could go into '12 without someone at the top. The tour board, which is divided between tournament and player reps, while in London for the year-end championships debated over three candidates: former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek; ATP CEO of the Asia-Pacific region Brad Drewett and ATP Chief Legal Officer Mark Young. ATP VP/Corporate Communications Kate Gordon said the board will continue talking this week, and that the candidates the board had been considering would remain the focus. “There is no hard deadline this week,” she said. “Still, the main (goal) is to have someone in place by the end of the year. That is still a possibility.” The board has not decided, at least not yet, to hire a search firm, she said. The board has been looking for a new leader since Adam Helfant said earlier this year he would step down after three years on the job. He was unable to reach a new contract, sources said, though he has publicly said that was not a consideration in his decision. His departure exposed a rift between player and tournament interests on the board, with the tourneys wanting either Young or Drewett, while players want one of their own running the tour. Discussion also emerged during the London finals of a potential push to change the ranking systems from an annual system, to one that covers two years, as in golf. One source said Rafael Nadal had been pushing the change. But Roger Federer, who is also the president of the Players Council, asked about it last week, forcefully opposed the idea. “I know it could be a good thing for me or for Rafa or for other good players because we would stay at the top for a very long time,” he said during a press conference last week. “For us to move down in the rankings would take something extraordinary. But for the lower-ranked players, I don't think it's a good thing and that's why I can't support it.”
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