Big Changes Could Be In Store For ATP With BOD Election
The ATP Player Council and President Novak Djokovic tomorrow will select former ATP BOD member Justin Gimelstob's replacement from a field of six candidates, and the election "should have a big impact on the next big decision: choosing who will lead the men's tour," according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. The ATP BOD has "begun formally searching" for a replacement for outgoing ATP President & Exec Chair Chris Kermode, whose contract was not extended in March, in "large part because of robust opposition from Gimelstob and Djokovic." With Gimselstob out, Djokovic "looks more isolated in his attempt to drive regime change." He is also now "short on high-profile allies" after failing to keep Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal "in the loop during the Kermode tussle." Kermode's contract runs until the end of the year, and he "remains in his post." If the Player Council chooses a new BOD member "more appreciative of his abilities than Gimelstob was, there is a chance Kermode could get a second chance at a contract extension." While some players "question the strength of Kermode's leadership," he still has "considerable support." Nadal and Stan Wawrinka at this past week's Madrid Open said that they "would be in favor of Kermode's renewal." Meanwhile, Djokovic has "continued to resist the kind of transparency that Federer and others have called for" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/13).
BANDING TOGETHER: TENNIS.com's Kamakshi Tandon noted some ITF-level players have "taken steps to form a union following a controversial change to the lower levels of the game." The group, United Tennis, aims to "oppose the reduction in tournament draws and ranking changes instituted by the ITF, ATP, and WTA Tours, and also plans to organize better conditions for lower-ranked players." The union has a five-person board, and "chose Switzerland for its official registration" (TENNIS.com, 5/10). METRO's George Bellshaw noted while United Tennis is "not a formal union" -- as it would "require acceptance from the WTA, ATP and ITF -- it is hoped it will become a collective body to protect athletes in the sport" (METRO, 5/9).