Djokovic Supports Gimelstob's Resignation, But Calls It Unfortunate
ATP Player Council President Novak Djokovic said that former ATP BOD member Justin Gimelstob made a "'wise decision' to step down" from the board, but also "suggested he might make a return in the future," according to Rohith Nair of REUTERS. Djokovic said, “It’s unfortunate because I think he has been probably the biggest asset that players had in the last 10-plus years that he’s been on the tour." Tennis players Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer have both "welcomed Gimelstob’s resignation." Federer said that he "thought Gimelstob’s exit could pave the way" for ATP President & Exec Chair Chris Kermode to stay in his position beyond '19. Gimelstob was "one of the main drivers behind the rejection of a contract extension" for Kermode in March and was at one stage "spoken of as a potential replacement for Kermode." Djokovic, the most prominent player to back Kermode’s ousting, said that he was "not opposed to Kermode applying to stay on if he got enough support" (REUTERS, 5/7).
NADAL ALSO SPEAKS OUT: METRO's George Bellshaw notes Rafael Nadal believes that Gimelstob's decision to step away was the "'ideal' scenario" while he also "defended his silence on the situation." Wawrinka last week "wrote a scathing letter" in the London Times about Gimelstob. He wrote, "This is a situation where silence amounts to complicity." While Gimelstob's exit was "welcomed" by Nadal, he "clearly does not subscribe to Wawrinka's viewpoint." Nadal: "I just believe that we don't need to add more things about the problem. I don't think or speak in public or in the press about this stuff. ... The last couple of months have been a lot of things going on in our sport, so I don't want to create more stories or more negative stories about our sport. We have a great sport and what we all want is to keep having a great sport and speak only about the negative things in our sport is something that probably is not my job and is something that I don't want" (METRO, 5/7).