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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Roger Federer: “I am not too disappointed after my defeat against Dominic Thiem in Indian Wells”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was not too disappointed after losing the Indian Wells final against Dominic Thiem last Sunday.

Roger Federer lost the Indian Wells final for the fourth time in his career after finishing runner-up in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Last year he did not convert three championship point against Juan Martin Del Potro.

“I am not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it felt like to some extent it was on my raquet. I just came up against somebody who was a bit better when it really mattered. That’s how it goes. Sure, it’s frustrating, disappointing and sad to some extent. I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly. I feel like I am actually playing good tennis. Like in Australia, I was not too down on myself because I feel like my game is there. My body is there. That keeps me upbeat, and I feel it’s a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament. I have been playing every single day for the past three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact. I feel really good”, said Federer after the final against Thiem in Indian Wells.

Federer congratulated with Thiem, who won his maiden Maiden 1000 title in the Californian desert after losing his previous two finals in the series in Madrid on his favourite clay surface.

“I am happy with Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000 title, as well. It’s a massive event to win. I just got my 100th title in Dubai and I had a great week. There is no reason to get down. There is more to look forward to Miami”.

This season Federer has a positive record of 12 wins in his 14 matches and lifted the 100th title of his career beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai.

Federer is looking forward to the Miami Open where he headlines the bottom half of the draw. Federer, who won three titles in Miami in 2005, 2006 and 2017, will take on either Matthew Eden from Australia or a qualifier in the second round and could renew his battle against his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the third round for the second consecutive tournament after winning their recent all-Swiss clash in Indian Wells in straight sets last week. Federer leads 22-3 in his 25 head-to-head clashes against Wawrinka. Wawrinka beat Federer three times in clay court matches in Monte-Carlo in 2009 and in the 2014 final and Roland Garros in 2015 and is chasing his first win on hard court against his compatriot.

“I think Stan knows that he is very close and it’s just a matter of time until he is going to break through again”,said Federer after their most recent clash at Indian Wells.

Federer could face Danil Medvedev in the Round of 16, Kevin Anderson or Karen Khachanov in the quarter final and a semifinal against either Stefanos Tsitsipas or last year’s Miami finalist Alexander Zverev.

 

 

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos lift their maiden Masters 1000 title as a title in Indian Wells

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Unseeded Nikola Mektic from Croatia and Horacio Zeballos won their first doubles title as a team after beating Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 4-6 6-4 10-3.

Kubot and Melo drew the first blood by getting an early break in the first game, but Mektic and Zeballos broke straight back in the second game. Mektic and Zeballos fended off two break points in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Kubot and Melo went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian team fended off a break point before serving out for the first set in the 10th game.

Mektic and Zeballos were not able to convert any of their two break points in the fourth game of the second set, but they held their service games easily and broke serve in the 10th game on the deciding point forcing the match to the decisive Match tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos cruised through to winning the tie-break 10-3 clinching their maiden doubles title as a team. Zeballos and Mektic won 40 % of their return points.

Earlier this week Mektic and Zeballos saved two match points in a match tie-break against this year’s Australian Open Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut before beating Colombian doubles specialists Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the quarter finals and Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the semifinal.

“It’s unbelievable. Being in the big press conference, it’s great. I have never been in this room. I love it”,said Zeballos in the post match press conference.

“Oh my God, we won Indian Wells. We are a great team. We can beat anyone. Especially on this tournament where the difference is a few balls. A few points will decide who is going to win. Of course you are not expecting to win, but we are going into every match confident that we can win, so we just went step by step and it happened”, said Mektic.

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Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot beat Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini to reach the Indian Wells doubles final

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Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot secured their spot in the final of the doubles tournament of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after beating singles world number 1 player Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 10-6 in the super tie-break.

Melo and Kubot will face Horacio Zeballos and Nikola Mektic, who beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3). Melo and Kubot have played together since 2017, while Zeballos and Mektic are teaming up for their second time in their careers.

In the first set Kubot and Melo earned an immediate break in the first game in the first game. Djokovic and Fognini broke back in the 10th game at 15 to draw level to 5-5. Kubot and Melo came back from 1-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5. Djokovic and Fognini broke twice in the first and fifth games to clinch the second set 6-2. Kubot and Melo took the 10-6 edge in the super tie-break.

Djokovic and Fognini thrilled the crowd with their spectacular tennis, but doubles specialists won the most crucial points.

“I think the fact we played together for a long time, this makes a difference. We were aggressive in important moments. We do what we have to do and most of the time for us, it pays off. I am very happy with this, so let’s go forward for tomorrow to the finals”, said Melo.

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