Justin Gimelstob Resigns From ATP Board But Refuses To Apologise - UBITENNIS
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Justin Gimelstob Resigns From ATP Board But Refuses To Apologise

Justin Gimelstob has resigned from the ATP Board but has failed to apologise for his actions

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Justin Gimelstob (@livetennis - Twitter)

Justin Gimelstob has resigned from the ATP Board folowing felony assault charges but refused to apologise in his statement. 

The resignation comes after high-profile stars such as Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka called for him to be ousted out by the players council.

A decision was set to be made on Gimelstob in Rome in a couple of weeks but the American has ended the talk and decided to resign.

It has come as the American was sentenced to three years probation and 60 hours of community service after assaulting capitalist Randall Kaplan last October.

As well as the assault he caused Randall’s wife, Madison, to miscarry their third child something that caused great emotional trauma on their family.

The Full Statement 

“I am resigning effective immediately from the ATP Board of Directors,” Gimelstob stated.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to hold this position for the past 11 years. My job was to best represent the players, the ATP, and be a custodian of the sport. My choices and actions last Halloween night prohibit me from doing that at this time. My role is designed to work on behalf of the players and the sport and it is clear that I have now become a significant burden and distraction to both. That is not something that could or should continue. I’m heartbroken to walk away from something I love so much, but given the current climate I do not deserve to be in this position of influence.

“For the better part of my life, tennis has been much more than my occupation, it has been my passion. I love the sport. It has given me so much personally and professionally, for which I am very grateful. Along the way I have had some successes and failures, and undoubtedly have made my share of mistakes. I sincerely hope that I can and will be judged by my complete body of work throughout my career on and off the court; my passion, my energy, and my tireless work on behalf of my constituents and the game.

“Giving up or conceding is not in my DNA, but it has become clear that I need to take a step back – for the good of the players, the game and for myself. Solely for that reason, I now more than ever appreciate that people in elected positions of influence must be held to the highest standard of conduct. I breached that standard on a night last October. I have always taken responsibility for my role in the events that evening and will continue to do so. While I can, have, and will continue to dispute the way that evening has been depicted, the material matter is that my judgment that evening compromised the sport and the people that entrusted me with the authority to represent them. I am deeply saddened and remorseful that my actions have caused the sport, players, my colleagues, friends and family such a distraction. Actions have consequences and me stepping away from a role I cherished is one of them that I accept.

“It has been an honor to represent the players, who I believe are the greatest athletes in the world. Thank you to the current Player Council and all the Player Council members throughout my 11 years as an ATP Board Member that have selflessly given their time to improve the sport. I want to thank all of my fellow Board Members – it has been a pleasure working with you all. I want to thank our incredible ATP staff and team, the ATP Tournaments and the entire tennis family for letting me be part of your inner circle.

“I also want to acknowledge and thank my critics. I appreciate that in choosing this profession; whether on the court, in the television booth, or in the boardroom, critique and scrutiny come with the platform you are given. I respect your profession, your opinions, and appreciate your desire to hold everyone accountable to a standard that matches the access and opportunity we are given as stewards of the sport.

“I hope that I have the opportunity in the future to contribute to the sport that I love and believe I can be an asset to once again. However I also appreciate that opportunity needs to be earned. I am committed to working on myself, dealing with the challenges in my personal life, and better equipping myself with the tools to handle the pain of losing my father and the ongoing litigation for equal custody of the most important thing in my life, my son.

“Last night while processing all of this I fortunately was able to spend some time with someone I respect greatly. He comforted me with the belief that from periods of pain and suffering arise a great opportunity for personal growth. We reflected on “failure” and how failure is not something to fear but rather to embrace and from which to learn. Specifically the theory of “falling forward.” I sincerely hope to be able to do exactly that, learn from my mistakes and become the best version of myself, not just for me but more importantly for my son. Sincerely, Justin Gimelstob.”

Analysis

Although it is very honourable for Gimelstob to resign and realise he has a lot of personal re-evaluation to do, for some people its just not enough.

Especially for the Kaplan family as in his statement he didn’t use this opportunity to apologise to the people he has physically and emotionally traumatised.

In-fact he didn’t even apologise to Tennis, the sport he has damaged throughout this entire process. It was your typical boring statement.

Not only did he ignore the scenario but he even stated that he wishes to have more opportunities in the future, which shows pure arrogance.

Acknowledging your critics isn’t good enough, being able to take responsibility means saying sorry and realising how much damage you have caused.

All this statement did was appreciate how lucky he is to be criticised and thankful for the opportunity to re-evaluate his life. That is the sound of someone who doesn’t care about other people or the damage something can have because of your actions.

It will be interesting to hear what Novak Djokovic has to say in Madrid as he is the President of the players council and should be the one speaking out against Gimelstob’s actions.

Considering most of the other players council are not present in Madrid, it is important the Serb presents clarity in this dire situation for the ATP.

As for the American’s ATP Board seat that will be decided in the next few weeks with many candidates ready to step forward to replace the disgraced American.

 

 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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Injured Alcaraz Pulls Out of Rio Open After Two Games

A sprained ankle a couple of minutes into his debut at the Rio Open forced top seed Carlos Alcaraz to abandon his match against Thiago Monteiro

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Carlos Alcaraz after the injury - Rio 2024 (photo Tennis TV)

For world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, this year’s Rio Open lasted two games: the Spanish champion had to retire on the score of 1-1 in the first set during his first-round match against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the second point of the match.

In an accident somewhat reminiscent of the terrible one suffered by Zverev in the semi-final of Roland Garros 2022, Alcaraz’s right foot “got stuck”  in the clay as he returned towards the center of the court after returning from the left, and he immediately flew to the ground dropping his racket. The Spaniard immediately asked for a medical time-out, but as soon as he took off his shoe it was immediately clear that his ankle had already swollen.

After having a tight bandage applied, Alcaraz tried to continue the match, but just two games later he understood that it was not possible to continue so he shook hands with his opponent, abandoning the Brazilian tournament.

The match was played on a very heavy court due to the rain that had fallen heavily during the day. The organizers had been forced to cancel the daytime session and play could only begin around 7.30 pm local time, after the courts had remained under pouring water all day.

Alcaraz told the press present in Rio: “I think these things happen, especially on clay. It wasn’t a problem with the court, I hurt myself in a change of direction and this happens on this type of surface. I went back into the match to see if I could continue or not. I spoke to the physiotherapist on the court and we decided, together, that I would continue to see if the ankle would improve. It didn’t happen, so we preferred to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.”

Considering that Alcaraz left the court on his own two feet and managed to wobble through a couple of games after the injury, it is quite likely that the injury he suffered is much less serious than the one that kept Alexander Zverev away from tournaments for over seven months. However, it will be necessary to verify whether it is just a sprain or whether tendons or ligaments have been involved. If this were to be the case, the prognosis could turn out to be longer, and this is happening less than two weeks before the start of the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Spaniard is scheduled to play an exhibition in Las Vegas on 3rd March against Rafael Nadal: it will be decided in the next few days whether to withdraw as a precaution for the first Masters 1000 of the season in Indian Wells.

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Can Jannik Sinner dodge the morning-after syndrome?

Very few players have managed to follow up their first triumph in a Major. Hewitt is the last new Grand Slam champion to immediately win an ATP title. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all misfired, can Jannik Sinner do better?

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Jannik Sinner - Australian Open 2024 (photo: X @federtennis)

By Roman Bongiorno

“The morning-after syndrome,” as they call it. The list of great champions who have suffered from it – Carlos Alcaraz, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, is impressive.  Some of the most illustrious names in our sport, the most successful ever. Yet, even for those who are legends, the match immediately after their first Grand Slam triumph is often an insurmountable hurdle.

The very young Spanish phenomenon, born in 2003, was the latest striking example. After winning the 2022 US Open and becoming the new world No. 1, Alcaraz managed to win just one set in his next two matches: he lost 6-7 6-4 6-2 in the Davis Cup against Felix Auger Aliassime, who was definitely on fire in that period, and was inflicted a 7-5 6-3 defeat by veteran David Goffin in his first match at the ATP 500 in Astana.

Mentally, it’ not easy. The most important triumph of one’s life, immediately to be put aside.  And go back to work. The media are quick to pounce on any slip, headlines hinting at signs of a career already over: “it’s gone to his head”, “he has made his money” etc.

Less than a year later, Carlos Alcaraz was once more a Grand Slam champion, beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.

Just think of tennis legends such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who fell victims to this serious syndrome. The former, after his triumph at Roland Garros 2005, stepped back on court on the green grass of Halle, losing in 3 sets to the world number 147 German Alexander Waske: 4-6 7-5 6-3. For many, that was a disastrous defeat foreshadowing a future that would not be as bright as it had seemed. Rafa told another story, by winning another 21 Grand Slam titles, on every surface.

The Serbian, on the other hand, thrived on the hard courts of Melbourne, just like Jannik Sinner. In 2008, after winning the title, he was engaged in Davis Cup against Russia. He did not finish his rubber against Nikolay Davydenko and retired at the beginning of the fourth set while trailing 2 sets to 1. In his first ATP tour appearance, in Marseille, after brushing aside Ivan Dodig, he was ousted in three sets by Gilles Simon. Over the following 15 years Novak Djokovic went on to become the has become the most successful player ever.

What about Roger Federer? After lifting the trophy won at Wimbledon in 2003, he moved to the home clay of Gstaad.  He survived the morning-after syndrome  after a fierce but victorious struggle in the first round with the Spaniard Marc Lopez, ranked No.190. Then he cruised till the final, but was defeated in a five set hustle 5-7 6-3 6-3 1-6 6-3 by Jiri Novak.

The morning-after did not spare Juan Martin del Potro. After his stunning victory over Federer at the 2009 US Open, he set foot on an ATP tennis court three weeks later in Tokyo. It was Edouard Roger Vassellin, 189th in the world, who spoiled the party, neatly defeating the Argentinian in two sets, 64 64.

Even “Ice man” Bjorn Borg, the man without (apparent) emotions, focused only on tennis and winning, lost the first match after his success at Roland Garros 1974. He was defeated in the first round in Nottingham by world No. 71 Milan Holecek from Czechoslovakia. Over the next years he definitely made up for that impasse on English lawns.

A rare bird at last, and not by chance does it come from Australia, a land which is ever so rich in unique species. Lleyton Hewitt, who in 2001 after steamrolling Pete Sampras in the US Open final, immediately won his next matches, two singles rubbers in the Davis Cup against Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, and then went on to win in Tokyo by beating Michel Kratochvil in the final.

Jannik Sinner has been building up his success on gruelling feats. Sure he’s eager to be back on the Dutch indoor courts of Rotterdam where he enjoyed a brilliant run last year, only surrendering to Danil Medvedev in the final. Just one year ago the Russian seemed an impossible opponent to defeat. Now, in the last 4 challenges, Jannik has beaten him 4 times. The last one, in the final of the Australian Open.

Rotterdam could have been the stage for a rematch, but Medvedev has pulled out of the tournament. Jannik Sinner appears as a favourite, and is vying to close in on that third place of the rankings currently held by Daniil.

Jannik has set out on his mission. But even if he were to be defeated in the first round by an opponent ranked beyond the top 200, no one should dare cry failure. Italy at last has a Grand Slam winner, and he is not to be downplay him in case of first defeats.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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