Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are impressed with Novak Djokovic and the player council’s role in Chris Kermode being ousted as Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) president.
Kermode is to be removed from his position after three player representatives on the ATP board voted for his contract to be terminated. Both Federer and Nadal are supporters of Kermode and they have both been left frustrated by the lack of communication before the decision to remove him was confirmed.
Djokovic is the head of the player council, which was hugely influential in the decision to oust Kermode, and the Serb has drawn the ire of his fellow players by not consulting them.
Federer spoke to Swiss journalists of the situation at Indian Wells: It is hard for me to express a clear opinion because I am no longer politically active. Actually, I want the people who are at the helm doing that.
For me, it’s just important that I know why it happened, and what should happen now, what’s on the agenda. I want to know what the motive was, what Kermode does not seem to have done well. ‘I would have tended to be more for him. In the past, there were always situations in which one had to say: he or she just has to go away, it’s no longer possible. But that was not the case with Kermode.
I tried to meet Novak on the deadline. Unfortunately he had no time. That’s hard to understand for me. He suggested that we see each other the day after but everything was already decided. We have not met yet.
I’m already interested in what’s behind it, why it happened like that. I have to think about whether I should get more involved again in the future, for the sake of the tour, or if I should just get involved a bit without going through politics. ‘I cannot just look away and say I’m not interested.
I also talked to Rafa Nadal. We are on the same page, that’s important to him and me. Many were behind Kermode. Not all have the same priorities. Some think primarily of money, others of the tournament calendar, others are more concerned with power.
Nadal was similarly cautious, but was keen to vent his frustrations over the significant development for the ATP. ‘I can’t say much about this, because as you know, I am outside of the politics,’ Nadal said at the BNP Paribas Open.
Nobody from the council came to me to explain why this stuff happened. ‘But at the same time, of course, I am disappointed that nobody came and explained why, what’s the real reason of we don’t have Chris continuing running our sport.
Normally, they have to ask the players about what they think to make a crucial decision like this one, and I really hope that they did with the rest of the players. If they did it, is great. It was not my case.
Nobody text me to speak about or to ask me about what’s my thoughts about that decision. Probably the guys who are running the council, they didn’t do the right job, because when they are there on the board, they are there representing us, so normally they have to ask what our opinion is.
Not in every small decision, but in big decisions. In my opinion, this one was a big decision.
Kermode has not yet left his position, but is due to exit later this year, with a replacement set to be named shortly.