It’s been bubbling away in the background for a while and was topic of conversation in Melbourne but it has been announced that ATP Chief Chris Kermode will leave at the end of the year.
Chris who took over in 2014 following his role as tournament director at Queens Club putting the tournament on the map has been thanked by the ATP for helping create record prize money and commercial growth as well as NextGen Finals in Milan and of course in 2020 with have the inaugrial ATP Cup to look forward to.
Novak Djokovic is the president of the Players Council and many believe he was one of the main campaigners for this change and when asked had this to say;
“I will not answer your question directly,” Djokovic said.
“I will not express my personal views on that. By sharing that information, I expose myself and I become liable to breach of confidentiality within the structure, so I’m not willing to risk that.
“We have the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020, we have the Next Gen Finals – there are a lot of positives, without a doubt. But also there’s a lot of things that are happening internally that need a lot of addressing.”
Djokovic went onto say that the council spoke to a number of players but not Nadal or Federer despite the latter saying in Melbourne and recently at Indian Wells it had yet to be discussed. – “talked to a large number of players” to establish their views, but added that he did not talk personally to either Nadal or Roger Federer.
Now this takes another turn which does not put the ATP in a good light;
Justin Gimelstob who is on the panel took a break from his role on Tennis Channel in the US after being arrested for what is an on-going battery charge resulting in serious bodily injury but surprisingly in Melbourne at the last players meeting there was no vote on his position on the board and he remains on the board was able to vote.
What happens next? We will wait and see there is a player split on this and a rift. Justin Gimelstob is currently being spoken about as the next chief executive but that would in my opinion would not be a right message with what is currently going on.