CAA drops tennis, citing lack of opportunity
CAA Sports exited the tennis business last month, letting go all of its player clients, including Genie Bouchard, Marin Cilic, Taylor Fritz and Coco Vandeweghe.
CAA, a powerhouse in representing team sports athletes, entered the tennis business in 2008 with the purchase of an agency owned by former pro Amit Naor, who was at the agency until CAA fired him in late 2017 after an investigation into allegations that he had sexually harassed a female division employee.
In a statement, CAA said last week, “There was not a sufficient opportunity for us in the representation of tennis players, and as such, we made a strategic decision to exit the business.”
As first reported by Sports Business Journal last summer, after Naor was fired, CAA soon after fired another agent, Rick Montz, for allegedly failing to do his job. Montz denied the charge and contended he was fired for standing up for Stephanie Lopez, the tennis division employee who had accused Naor of harassment. Naor did not respond to the allegations at the time despite repeated requests for comment.
Lopez went on leave in May 2018 after accusing CAA of retaliating against her for reporting on Naor. CAA denied the claims, saying it had acted with “thoroughness, thoughtfulness and fairness” throughout the investigation and “determined unequivocally that there was no retaliation.”
Lopez’s lawyers were notified this month via email that she also was being let go from CAA as part of the dissolution of the tennis division.
As of December there were only two active tennis-only division employees remaining, Matt Elefant and Matt Fawcett. Elefant left CAA in December and now works for World TeamTennis. Fawcett now works on his own as an agent. The ATP said he represents Cilic, Fritz and Ryan Harrison. Fawcett did not reply for comment.
During its run, CAA represented players including Novak Djokovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Andy Murray, all Grand Slam winners.