As Justin Gimelstob’s Future Hangs In The Balance, Players Stay Silent On The Matter - UBITENNIS
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As Justin Gimelstob’s Future Hangs In The Balance, Players Stay Silent On The Matter

Despite the controversy, Gimelstob’s removal from the ATP board is far from guaranteed.

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In less than four weeks Justin Gimelstob could find himself permanently removed from the powerful ATP Board.

 

On May 14th a vote will take place on the future of the former player, who has recently been involved in a high profile criminal case. Gimelstob pleaded no contest to an assault against Randall Kaplan last Halloween. Meaning that he has pleaded neither guilty or not guilty to the allegation, but has accepted the charge nevertheless. Earlier this week, he was slammed with a 60-day community service and a three-year probation. Additionally, he has agreed to attend anger management classes over the next 52 weeks.

The controversy surrounding Gimelstob has led to many calling for him to be removed from his current position as player representative for the ATP. A decision that is up to the player’s council, which is headed by world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

“Justin should have stepped down months ago pending the result of his legal case.” former player and coach Darren Cahill commented on the matter. “Now that the judgement is in, the player council should pick another candidate on May 14 to represent men’s tennis at board level.’
“If contrary information is revealed in the civil case that I’d welcome Justin to run for a board position again, is he so wishes. There’s good in Justin that many people don’t get to see but clearly what happened is unacceptable on so many levels.”

Since the verdict, few players have spoken out about the situation. Rafael Nadal was questioned about the topic at the Barcelona Open, but dodged the question. During one of his press conferences, the Spaniard said ‘the only thing I can do without being in the player council is if somebody ask me from the player council I will give them my personal opinion.’ When asked what his opinion is, Nadal refrained from giving an answer.

Vasek Pospisil is a member of the council. In his original statement sent to tennis.life, the Canadian player backed Gimelstob by saying ‘If he were to run again for that position, myself and the players of the tour would be fortunate to have him for another term.’ However, that part of his statement has since been removed from the website. It is unclear as to why.

“I would like to stay away from commenting on the matters of Justin’s personal life as I am ill-equipped to answer such questions, or make statements on that matter. I will say, however, that Justin has done an incredible job in his position as a player board representative,” he said.
“He has conducted himself with the utmost integrity during the nine months I have been on the council and has fought for the players’ rights.”

Under the current structure, there are 12 members of the ATP council. However, two of those members, coach Dani Valledu and former player Colin Dowdeswell, are ineligible to participate in the upcoming vote.

One council member expected to be on Gimelstob’s side is John Isner, who currently hires him as an unpaid advisor. Isner has not spoken about his mentor since the outcome of the legal case, but he has previously defended him.

“He’s going through a tough time on a lot of fronts,” the world No.10 said in March. “But he’s a very loyal guy, and he goes up against the tournament representatives and goes to bat for us players. He’s stubborn and tenacious. That’s the reason he’s been in the position he’s been in for quite some time.”

Amid the controversy he has been caught up in, there is still a chance that Gimelstob will retain his position on the board. Although Ben Rothenberg has reported that another ex-player with a ‘better career’ than Gimelstob will put their name forward for the position. Giving no mention about who that may be.

“Our sport’s ethics, character, priorities, and spine will be judged. We all get life tested beyond our wildest nightmares. How we react/respond during duress is crucial. Justin failed, and needs to take time to make amends, be of service, and recover. No rush, let’s give it TIME!” 22-time grand slam doubles champion Pam Shriver stated.

The question remains why has somebody that has been caught up in such a high-profile incident managed to keep hold of his position so far? During the legal proceedings, Gimelstob was present and voted at the meeting which ensured the removal on ATP CEO Chris Kermode later this year. According to the man himself, it is simply because he is ‘good at what he does. ‘

“This sounds horrible, but I’m very good at what I do,” he previously told The New York Times. “And that upsets people in our structure. The players know how good I am, especially in terms of improving prize money for them, and that pisses off the tournaments. It annoys them that, even in a compromised state, I’ve been able to outwit, outmaneuver, outstrategize and outmobilize them.”

Gimelstob’s resilience and determination to continue his role is undisputed. The question is will the ATP Player’s council be as willing with the prospect of permantly damaging their reputation at stake.

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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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Novak Djokovic fends off two match points to win a dramatic quarter final match against Juan Martin Del Potro in Rome

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Four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic fended off two match pointsto knok out Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 3 hours and 2 minutes in one of the most exciting matches of this edition of the Intenazionali d’Italia in Rome.

 

Djokovic won just five points than Del Potro and hit 43 winners to 34 unforced errors.

Del Potro saved six break points in the fourth, sixth and eighth games of the opening set and got his break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead.

The Argentine saved three break points in the tenth game to close out the first set with a backhand down the line winner.

Del Potro hit an ace to save a break point in the second game of the second set. Djokovic broke serve in the sixth game with a backhand winner.

The world number 1 fended off a set point on the return in the eighth game. Del Potro broke back at 15 in the ninth game after a loose backhand from Djokovic, when he was serving out the set at 5-3.

Del Potro earned two match points at 6-4 in the tie-break. Djokovic reeled off four consecutive points to win the tie-break 8-6, when Del Potro sent a backhand long forcing the match to the third set.

Djokovic fended off three break points in the fourth game of the decider before breaking serve in the fifth game, as Del Potro netted a forehand. The Serb served well in the next games and closed out the match with a hold of serve setting up a semifinal clash against Diego Schwartzman.

“I have never lost faith I could come back to the match. One break of serve, mini-break of the tie-break when he was 6-4 in the tie-break, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. He missed a crucial point in the tie-break. Also in the break point of the third set, quite easy forehand. That’s what happens. That’s sport. I am just really pleased to overcome. I am happy that Del Potro is back to his best form after the injury”, said Djokovic.

 

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