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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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1406612207086059528

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

https://twitter.com/tennis_gifs/status/1404375935625875457

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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