At the start of the Australian Open on Monday, the sport’s leading male players were peppered with questions about the future of ATP Chairman and President Chris Kermode.
Kermode’s contract ends in late 2019, and this week the ATP Player Council discussed its future. Media reports indicate that some sports leaders want change. A vote on the future of Kermode is scheduled for March in Indian Wells, California.
“The decision on the president has not yet fallen,” said the president of the ATP player council, Novak Djokovic, on Sunday. “He is still president, he remains president until the end of his term, and whether or not there is an extension will be decided in the next period.”
A vote on the player contracts is not binding, but usually serves as a guide for the three ATP tournament representatives and three ATP player representatives. To extend his contract, Kermode needed the majority of board members to vote in his favor.
On Monday, Rafael Nadal, who is out of the council, said Kermode should stay.
“If [the Gambling Council] wants to read my opinion, I’ll tell them that I believe I believe in the projects long-term, not short-term, as everyone in my life knows,” he said after a win. “And that’s why I think it’s not good to keep making changes, because it’s difficult to develop a good work project if changes are made every three or four years.
“I think Chris probably did a good job out there, and I do not see that he’s doing negative or enough negative things to stay out of position, he probably knows the tennis world better than a new person coming, me I’ll lose some time if I know everything, how it works, how it works. “
Nadal said he wanted to talk to members of the players’ council, feelings that were also reflected by Roger Federer.
“I think we had a good five, six years under Chris’s leadership,” Federer said Sunday. “Obviously it’s important, we have to look at it very closely, I need to talk a bit with Novak, Rafa and Andy just to deal with them.”
Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas also supported Kermode to stay, but Vasek Pospisil, a member of the players’ council, allegedly emailed all players that Kermode did not represent their interests.
Darren Cahill, a former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Simona Halep, and now an ESPN tennis analyst, said it was a mistake to remove Kermode.
“Big price hikes, retirement plans, new events, double initiative support, new progressive rules for injured players … facility upgrades,” tweeted Cahill. “I would be stunned if Chris Kermode is removed, ATP now needs stability.”
At the Australian Open in 2018 Djokovic called for a union only for players and demanded a higher share of tournament revenues. On Sunday, he denied the claim that top players would greedily demand more money.
“Of course we’re happy with what’s going on with slams in general, especially the Australian Open, not just with prize money, but also with facilities, all the improvements we’re seeing and experiencing,” he said. “Great appreciation, positive impressions go to Craig [Tiley, the tournament director of the Australian Open] and to all the staff of the organization who have done a great job.
“We keep talking about grand slams, it’s an ongoing discussion, and fortunately, some people, maybe some media, come across this information because as part of the council, I consider some of the top players who are there as part of the council fighting for ourselves is not at all true, and I have to mention this because we are focusing on distribution and distribution for equal distribution, focusing more on the earlier rounds, the last qualifying rounds and the first Grand Slams. Concentrate Rounds You get more employment opportunities and also increase the number of tennis players who can live from this sport.
“We’re trying to increase the number of players who can travel around the world, not just covering the expenses, having the entire team and having a decent life with the sport they play.”