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.
Players need to speak out. Justin Gimelstob has been convicted of a violent assault. It simply can not be possible for anyone to condone this type of behaviour and worse support it. In any other business or sport we would not be discussing this.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) April 30, 2019
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.”
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.
Felix Auger-Aliassime Survives Australian Open Marathon
For a second time this week the Canadian was pushed but managed to win a tough four-set match against his Spanish opponent.
Felix Auger-Aliassime booked his spot in the third round of the Australian Open after beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a match that lasted four hours and 20 minutes.
The Montreal native hit 58 winners and served 28 aces while Davidovich Fokina hit 51 unforced errors. It is the second time the 21-year-old has reached the last 32 in Melbourne Park in what is his third appearence.
The first game of the match was a nervy one for the world number nine as it lasted six minutes and it involved him saving two breakpoints before being able to hold serve. The opener stayed on serve until 2-2 when the Fokina came up with an impressive passing shot to set up two more chances for the first break of serve of the match and this time managed to convert. Three games later the Canadian fought back and broke right back to go back on serve.
It was a tiebreak which decided the first set. The Montreal native jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Spaniard came back again to win the next four points but the Canadian responded again winning three straight points to take the breaker 7-4 and the first set.
The second set was another impressive performance on serve by both players and once again was decided by a back and forth breaker that this time was won by Davidovich Fokina to level the match.
The third frame was much the same as both players kept their level up and not much differentiated the two. This tiebreaker was much more straightforward as the Canadian jumped out to a 5-1 lead before closing out the third set 7-5 and taking two sets to one lead.
The fourth set stayed on serve until 2-1 when the world number 50 had a chance to break and was able to get it for a 3-1 lead before the Canadian was able to break back the following game to go back on serve.
For the fourth time, the set was decided by a tiebreaker and this one was super tight with the Canadian getting the crucial break to take a 4-3 lead and that one break was enough for him to serve it out.
Auger Aliassime will now face Dan Evans in the third round after the Brit was handed a walkover against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech who pulled out of the match due to injury.
‘Best Feeling I’ve Ever Had’ – Underdog Christopher O’Connell Stuns Schwartzman At Australian Open
Prior to this week the 27-year-old had never won a main draw match at Melbourne Park or beaten a top 20 player.
World No.175 Christopher O’Connell has pulled off a major upset at the Australian Open by knocking out 13th seed Diego Schwartzman.
The 27-year-old wild card had only ever won one match in the main draw of a Grand Slam prior to this year but illustrated the talent that he has with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, win over Schwartzman. A player who is currently ranked 162 places above him in the rankings. Against the Argentine he fired a total of 44 winners and won 75% of his first service points on route to claiming his first win over a top 20 player.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had on a tennis court. I’ve been playing tennis since I was four. To have moments like this it’s a dream come true.” O’Connell said during his press conference.
Despite the straightforward score, the match itself was a marathon. The opener alone lasted for almost 90 minutes with the underdog saving three set points whilst down 4-5 before prevailing in the tiebreaker. Then in the following two sets he broke Schwartzman three times in total.
“I knew how crucial that first set was. It was really warming up out there. It was really a battle back and forth. It was crucial to get that first set, especially in the heat,” he said.
A late bloomer on the men’s Tour, the Australian started to make a breakthrough last year by reaching his first quarter-final at the Atlanta Open where he defeated Jannik Sinner. During that year he also reached the final of a French Challenger event before withdrawing due to injury and reached the second round of the US Open.
O’Connell, who has been ranked as high as 111th in the world, credits his coach for helping him reach new milestones in the sport. He is mentored by former player Marinko Matosevic who reached a ranking high of 39th back in 2013 and made more than $2M in prize money during his playing career.
“The process didn’t start yesterday. It’s been happening all of last year,” he stated.
“I’ve been working with Marinko. He’s just really confident with how I want to play tennis now. It’s the first time I’ve really had a one-on-one coach literally every day with me.’
“Marinko was such a great player. All his knowledge of the game, he’s just putting it onto me.”
Next up for O’Connell will be the in-form Maxime Cressy who lost to Rafael Nadal in the final of the Melbourne Summer Set just over a week ago. The American defeated Czech qualifier Tomáš Macháč 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5), in his second round match.
“I knew I had good results in me. It’s just being consistent. I felt today was a consistent match from me,” he reflected.
“But the biggest thing for me is just staying healthy, not having these injuries where I miss two months of tournaments. I nearly missed five or six months last year. I can’t be doing that.’
“The belief is always there, but I just got to make sure my body’s healthy this year. I want to play a full year.”
French Player Tests Positive For COVID-19 Hours After Australian Open Defeat
The world No.40 was preparing to leave the country.
Ugo Humbert is in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 following his first round loss at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Humbert, who was the 29th seed in the men’s draw, is understood to have produced a positive result during a routine procedure players have to conduct before they leave the country. It is unclear as to if he is currently suffering from any symptoms.
Humbert crashed out of the tournament to compatriot Richard Gasquet, who won their match 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6 (3), 6-3, in three hours and 18 minutes. Gasquet also tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Australia earlier this month but was given the all clear to play at Melbourne Park following a negative test. There was a 15-day period between the 35-year-old announcing on Twitter he had the virus and his first match against Humbert.
“I was tested positive on my exit test yesterday and I’ll stay one more week in isolation in Australia,” Humbert wrote on Instagram.
“Thanks for your support and see you soon.”
The 23-year-old has started his season by winning one out of four matches played. Prior to the Australian Open, he scored one of the biggest wins of his career by defeating Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Cup in the group stages. However, following that victory he suffered losses to Alex de Minaur and Matteo Berrettini.
Tennis Australia is yet to comment on Humbert’s positive test.
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