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Roger Federer ready to take 'active role' in ATP politics after controversial Chris Kermode removal

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 13 Mar 2019
  • Roger Federer says he will take a more active role in ATP politics after the controversial removal of ATP Chief, Chris Kermode
  • Kermode's six-year-tenure will not be extended after Player Council voted against the idea
  • Federer and Nadal unhappy at not being carried along during the decision-making process
  • World No. 1, Novak Djokovic is the president of the Player Council
Roger Federer. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Swiss great, Roger Federer says he will take a more active role in ATP politics following the controversy surrounding the removal of ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode.

The ATP has announced that Kermode will not be extending his six-year tenure after his application for extension was rejected by the three players' representatives on the ATP board.

The players' representatives are Justin Gimelstob (who is currently facing assault charges in the United States), David Edges (who came in on temporary basis a couple of months ago), and Alex Inglot. They were elected by the ATP Player Council, and therefore represent the position of the council on the ATP Board. World No. 1, Novak Djokovic is the president of the ATP Player Council.

While Djokovic hasn't publicly confirmed whether or not he played a leading role in the ouster of Kermode, it has been widely reported that the Serbian is a major force behind the charge for change in the leadership of the men's game.

Kermode's removal has not gone down well with some of the top players in the sport, with heavyweights, Federer and Rafael Nadal expressing their bemusement at the decision to remove the Englishman.

“I do believe we have unbelievable players, great matches, new guys coming through, stadiums are full, prizemoney has gone up”, Federer said.   
“From that standpoint everything’s actually great and then you talk about politics and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on here?’”

Federer suggested that not all of the players were not carried along in the Council's decision to remove Kermode, and that he tried to talk to Council president, Djokovic before the votes to decide Kermode's fate were conducted, but the Serbian, according to Federer, had no time.

"Unfortunately, he [Djokovic] had no time,” said Federer. “That’s hard to understand for me … I want to know what the motive was, [and] what Kermode does not seem to have done well. I would have tended to be more for him.”

The 20-time major champion is still seeking more clarity on the matter, and to that effect, the 37-year-old has said he is ready to play a more active role in the decisions of the council moving forward.

“We need to really figure it out and I’d like to feel the pulse a little bit about where we’re about to go, because clearly we’re going to need to decide who the new CEO (of the ATP) is going to be, or the political side of the game has got to do that.” 
“I would like to take an active role a little bit to some extent — as much time as I have and am willing to give — just to be part of the process because like you said I do care, and if I do care I should put in a little work as well,” Federer said.

Federer has largely taken a back seat in ATP politics since he stepped down from being the president of the player council in 2014, but he and great rival, Rafael Nadal, who was Federer's vice, are ready to step back in.

Nadal has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the administration of the sport, claiming during the Australian Open that no one from the player council bothered to consult him over the decision to dismiss Kermode, and he reiterated his strong reservations about the whole process at Indian Wells.

“I am disappointed that nobody came and explained why, what's the real reason of we don't have Chris continuing running our sport”, the Spaniard said. 
“If a lot of players says this [that they weren’t consulted] … probably the guys who are running the council, they didn't make the right job, because they are there representing us, so normally they have to ask what's our opinion.”

Federer says he's pleased that he and Nadal are on the same page, and says they will both come up with a plan on how to move forward.

“I spoke to Rafa the other day for quite some time, he came to the house and we had coffee together, and we just were really going through what is going on. I’m happy that we’re aligned and we agree that we should be talking and coming up with a proper plan,” Federer said. 
“What I am happy about is we’re aligned and we agree that we should be talking and coming up with a proper plan”. 
“I’d like to hear that from the council and some more players and people just to get an idea what’s really going on, to be quite honest.”


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Roger Federer ready to take 'active role' in ATP politics after controversial Chris Kermode removal

Roger Federer says he will take a more active role in ATP politics after the controversial removal of ATP President, Chris Kermode.

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