Federer, Nadal Look To Smooth Over Issues Facing ATP Council
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are making a return to the ATP Player Council, but their tenure this time around feels "less like a triumphant return and more like a rescue mission," according to Ben Rothenberg of the N.Y. TIMES. The council "hemorrhaged members during Wimbledon, when three players -- Robin Haase, Jamie Murray and Sergiy Stakhovsky -- abruptly quit." The exodus followed a "contentious seven-hour meeting that capped months of deadlock over choosing a replacement for Justin Gimelstob, a player representative to the ATP board." The player council had also been "divided over a decision in March not to renew the contract" of the ATP President & Exec Chair Chris Kermode. The move "caught many in the tennis world off guard, including Federer and Nadal, who expressed their unhappiness at not being consulted." Nadal’s previous stint on the council, in which he "served as Federer’s vice president, ended with his resignation" in '12. He was "exhausted by an inability to pass reforms he sought, such as a two-year ranking system." Vasek Pospisil, who this week publicly criticized the ATP, said that he "believed existing members were 'quite unanimous on the decision' to bring on Federer and Nadal." Their terms will "end at Wimbledon next year" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/9).
WHAT'S ON DECK: TENNISNOW.com noted among the ongoing issues for the Player Council is the "search for a replacement for Kermode and bridging the revenue gap between players and tournaments." Critics of the current political structure "say ensuring that the future stars of the ATP gain a larger percentage of revenues and have more say in how the sport is operated is vital to the future of the ATP." Tennis player Feliciano Lopez, who also serves as Mutua Madrid Open Tournament Dir, "conceded the ATP's political structure is in disarray and predicted change is coming." The Player Council is "scheduled to meet again this month shortly before the US Open" (TENNISNOW.com, 8/8).