Novak Djokovic hails Gaudenzi as new ATP boss

Gaudenzi, 46, who reached 18 in the world rankings in his playing career and won three titles before retiring in 2003, has penned a four-year deal.

Novak Djokovic hailed the appointment of Andrea Gaudenzi as the new chairman of the ATP.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

 

Novak Djokovic hailed the appointment of Andrea Gaudenzi as the new chairman of the ATP on Thursday in succession to Chris Kermode whose controversial exit led to a rift between the world number one and fellow heavyweights, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Gaudenzi, 46, who reached 18 in the world rankings in his playing career and won three titles before retiring in 2003, has penned a four-year deal.

"On behalf of the players, I'd like to welcome Andrea as the next chairman of the ATP," said Djokovic.

"As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career. He has all the qualities to lead the Tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally."

Kermode had been in charge since 2014 but the player representatives decided at Indian Wells in March not to renew his contract.

The 54-year-old Briton was pushed towards the exit by representatives who, at the time, included the American Justin Gimelstob, a close associate of Djokovic.

Gimelstob was then forced to resign from the Players Council following a conviction for assault. 

The exit of the popular Kermode was opposed by Federer and Nadal, both of whom have since returned to the Players Council which is chaired by Djokovic.

Most recently, Gaudenzi, an Italian, had been involved in the ATP's media division.

"The ATP has played a central part in my life in so many ways, and to be given this opportunity to serve as ATP chairman is a true honour," said Gaudenzi in a statement. 

"I look forward to overseeing the future direction of the Tour and building on the sport's global success and popularity at what is unquestionably one of the most exciting times in the history of men's professional tennis. 

"I'm very thankful for this opportunity and can't wait to get started in January."

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