Trio Responsible For Removal Of Chris Kermode Reacts To Backlash - UBITENNIS
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Trio Responsible For Removal Of Chris Kermode Reacts To Backlash

The founder of Ubitennis has also shared his opinion about the current fiasco in men’s tennis.

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The three player representatives from the ATP has said they are ‘surprised’ by reaction to their decision concerning the removal of CEO Chris Kermode.

 

In a statement issue to the media on Wednesday, the group said their verdict were not ‘made or driven by one or two individuals’ personal beliefs or agendas.’ Last week the representatives voted to not renew Kermode’s contract. Something that has been criticised by players such as Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov. The Players council, which is headed by Novak Djokovic, has also been criticised for a lack of communication concerning the matter.

“All members of the Player Council, including the ten current players, as well as the three Player Board Representatives, have spent months discussing and debating the merits and concerns with renewing Chris’ contract.” A statement reads.
“We should not minimize the commitment and sacrifice of this Player Council to give back to their Tour and the sport they care deeply about – the time and effort they have dedicated to preparing for meetings, talking with the wider player group, debating late into the night just days before big tournaments commence, and discussing all matters consistently via emails and Whatsapp chats.’
“This decision was also made while communicating with players, tournament members, ATP Staff and Management, senior stakeholders in the game, CEOs and Chairman of other sports, as well as our fellow Board Members.”

The trio compromise of TV executive David Egdes, lawyer Alex Inglot and former tennis player Justin Gimelstob. Gimelstob’s involvement is controversial as he is currently in the middle of a criminal investigation into an allegation of assault on a former friend. A change he has pleaded not guilty to.

A war of words has broken out on the tour following Kermode’s pending exit. World No.1 Djokovic has been at the centre of the attacks with some labelling him as the driving force behind the change. Although the Serbian has opted to remain neutral on the matter. Dodging a direct yes or no answer on Kermode’s future when questioned by the media, before later calling for a change to the structure of the ATP.

“The structure is such that it’s I personally feel a bit flawed,” he said. “You kind have to put always the role of the president as a tiebreaker in many voting circumstances. You have three votes of the player board representatives, three votes of the tournaments and most of the cases, there’s a conflict of interest. It’s a difficult position to be in as a president because you have to kind of at times choose between the two. So I feel that’s something we as a group have to address.”

The Djokovic-lead council had previously voted on Kermode’s removal. However, the results of that vote have been kept secret following an agreement between the members. It is understood that there was a split in opinion of the council, who acts as an advisory to the board members.

There is now speculation that the likes of Nadal or Federer may enter into the world of tennis politics. Something that was also confirmed in the Wednesday statement.

“It is worth adding at this point that we have heard in recent days that some of our greatest icons are interested in re-entering the political conversations and helping us and the Council guide the next phase of this sport’s growth.” The Player Representatives revelled.

It shouldn’t have been this difficult

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta is more than familiar with the world of tennis politics. The veteran journalist has reported from 151 grand slam tournaments over the past four decades. Witnessing the creation of the ATP during the 1970s and following its development ever since. In the wake of the latest statement, Scanagatta has issued his personal opinion on the situation.

“It is clear that the board was annoyed by what the icons (Federer, Nadal, Hewitt) said in favour of Kermode. Especially when they said that they have not been consulted. The board, through Djokovic mainly, was always saying that they were always available to listen to others, but as a matter of fact the board never bothered to meet them….perhaps, in the case of Federer they presumed or thought he had other priorities or potential conflicts of interests such as the Laver Cup. But who doesn’t have conflicts of interests?

Due to the important role, past and present, of icons like Federer and Nadal has had on the tennis image and popularity in the last 15 years, it shouldn’t have been so difficult at least to try to meet them and share opinions, knowing that it is the board that must have the final word.

David Egdes, who is one of the three player representatives said “we have heard in recent days some of our greatest icons are interested in re-entering the political conversations and helping us and the Council.” He is somehow underlining the fact that the Icons didn’t seem to care before coming out with their public declarations.

Nobody can claim – in my opinion – a total innocence. It wasn’t so difficult to find the way to meet and talk, unless the board thought – which is what I personally think – that to talk with the Icons would have complicated the process of the decisions they had on their mind and they didn’t want to change. Politics is always politics. Full transparency is never in action.”

 

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Rafael Nadal claims his ninth title in Rome

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Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the eagerly awaited final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on the Centre Court in Rome to claim his ninth title of his legendary career in the Italian capital. Nadal has become the first player in history to win 34 Masters 1000 titles.

 

Nadal and Djokovic met for the 54th time in their careers and for the 26time in a final. Djokovic entered the Rome final with a 28-25 win-loss record and beat Nadal in three sets in this year’s Australian Open final by the scoreline of 6-3 6-2 6-3.

The top 2 players of the ATP Ranking won 12 of the last 14 Rome titles.

Nadal took a bagel win in a one-sided first set with three consecutive breaks and earned 59 % of his return points. Nadal broke in the first game of the opening set after a loose forehand from Djokovic. Nadal went up a double break to open a 3-0 lead with a forehand down the line and claimed the opening set in the sixth game with a service winner after 38 minutes.

Djokovic bounced back in the second set and earned a break point in the fourth game, but Nadal saved it with a forehand down the line winner.

The Serbian player saved three break points he faced in the seventh game of the second set and fended off another chance at 4-4. Nadal wasted a game point in the 10th game and sent a forehand long to drop serve in the 10th game. With his only break Djokovic claimed the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the third set.

The Serbian player earned his first break point of the match at 2-1 in the second set with a forehand, but Nadal saved it with an inside.in forehand winner. Nadal brought up three break points at 3-3 0-40 with a lob that Djokovic smashed into the net.

Djokovic saved the 4th fourth break point of the second set at 4-4 before breaking serve at deuce in the 10th game to close out the second set 6-4, when Nadal missed wide.

Nadal started the decisive set with an immediate break at deuce in the opening game. Djokovic saved a break point in the third game at deuce, but dropped his serve for the second time at 30 in the fifth game to trail 1-4 after a backhand error Nadal wrapped up the match with his third break in the seventh game on his first match point at deuce to clinch his ninth title in Rome and his 34th Masters 1000 trophy. Nadal has lifted his first title of the 2019 season and his first tournament since last August’s Rogers Cup.

Nadal won the Rome title for the second consecutive year becoming the first player to successfully defend a title in 2019. The Spanish player had not won a single tournament in 2019, but he reached three consecutive semifinals in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

The Spanish player becomes the oldest Rome champion in the history of the Rome tournament.

Nadal received the Rome trophy from former Roland Garros and Rome champion Gustavo Kuerten during a ceremony attended by Italian tennis legend Nicola Pietrangeli and Italian tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi.

“For me it’s always an honour to play in Rome. I played here for the first time in 2005. I thank the crowd for their support. I played the first set very well. The most important thing is to return to my best level. All titles are special, but this win means a lot to me, because Rome has a very important place in the history of our sport. I had a very difficult week. For me, as I have said ever day, winning titles is important, but for me the most important thing is to feel myself competitive and healthy. And then with the feeling I am improving.” Nadal said during a post-match interview with TennisTV.

 “I know if I reach my level, you can win or you can lose, but normally I will have my chances. Especially on this surface. I am very happy with my victory. It was a great match, I played well and now I’m just enjoying the moment.” Nadal summarised.

 “It is always special playing against Novak, against Roger (Federer). These kind of matches has been tradition in the sport for the last 10 or so years.” he said.

 “Novak is having a great season. Winning in Australia and winning last week in Madrid. It’s an important win for me, but what means a lot is winning again here in Rome. It is one of the most important events of the year.”

Nadal did not drop a set en route to reaching the final, while four-time Rome champion Djokovic won two three-set marathon matches against Juan Martin Del Porto in the quarter final and Diego Schwartzman in the semifinal and spent 5 hours and 34 minutes compared to Nadal ‘s 3 hours and 22 minutes.

“No, I don’t want to talk about the fatigue. Simply Nadal was the better player today.” Djokovic said during the trophy presentation.

 

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Novak Djokovic battles past Diego Schwartzman to set up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal in Rome

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Novak Djokovic battled past Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 in the semifinal of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia setting up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal.

 

In their previous head-to-head match Djokovic recovered from 2 sets to one down to win in five sets at 2017 Roland Garros.

Both players played a good match, but Djokovic raised his level in the most decisive moments of the match. Djokovic was not affected by his 3-hour marathon match against Juan Martin Del Potro, where he saved two match points.

Djokovic won another thrilling match after 2 hours and 31 minutes against Schwartzman reaching his 9th final in Rome and his 49th title match at Masters 1000 level.

Djokovic converted four of his five break points and dropped his serve twice.

Djokovic got his first break in the eighth game, when Schwartzman netted a backhand. Djokovic held his serve with three winners in the ninth game to close out the opening set 6-3 after 38 minutes.

Djokovic and Schwartzman traded four consecutive breaks from 3-2 in the second set. Schwartzman went up a break twice at 4-2 and 5-3, but Djokovic broke back both times in the seventh and ninth games to draw level to 5-5 setting up a tie-break. Schwartzman took two mini-breaks and won all points on serve to win the tie-break 7-2 forcing the match to the third set.

In the third set they traded five service games before Djokovic earned the decisive break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, when Schwartzman made a backhand error. The Serbian player held serve in the ninth game to secure his spot in the final.

Djokovic and Nadal will meet for the 54th time. The Serbian player leads 28-25 in his head-to-head matches against the Spaniard. Both players hold the record of 33 Masters 1000 titles.

“He keeps on showing to the world why Nadal is one of the biggest legends of tennis history. I have the greatest respect for him. He is my greatest of all time. Every time we get to play each other, it’s a thrill. It’s the ultimate challenge”, said Djokovic.  

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 

 

The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.

 

 

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