The new ATP chairman will have a very delicate role
In the end, the players of the ATP Player Council, led by Novak Djokovic, made sure that Chris Kermode would cede the role of ATP chairman at the end of 2019.
Now ATP will go through a delicate period, during which it will be necessary to understand whom to entrust the role of president.
After this decision, we are sure the new ATP chairman will have a very delicate role: to mediate between the different sides of tennis players. This choice is the result of an internal struggle between players, the Council and the Board.
Tennis players want more decision-making power, especially in the way the tournaments' schedule is aligned and, of course, they are asking for more money.
The renewal of the contract of the ATP president is not decided by the players alone, but by the Board, composed of six people: three tournament representatives and three player representatives.
The president must have at least four out of six preferences. At least two of the representatives of the two sides must give their preference.
What we know is that Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, and Roger Federer seem to have been against Kermode's ouster from this position: "If they had been interested, they could have asked for information.
I know Rafa was against it. I can't say my thoughts because I would violate the confidential nature of the meetings," Djokovic had, however, said. Kermode's management has led to a substantial increase in prize money, at least in the most important tournaments.
As a result, tennis players' earnings have improved. As an example, the world no. 100 had earned $374,747 at the end of 2014. The same world no.
100, at the end of 2018, had gained $560,466.
Furthermore, to counter the new Davis Cup, Kermode had supported the new project of the ATP Cup, a new event for 24 nations that will be played from 3rd to 12th January 2020 in Australia.
The former British player was the fifth chairman: before him, Mark Miles (1990-2005), Etienne De Villiers (2006-2008), Adam Helfant (2009-2011) and Brad Drewett (2012-2013).
With Kermode, the ATP has perhaps experienced one of the best moments since its creation, with improvements from all points of view: media coverage, prestige, earnings, business, plant modernization.
The new president will have a very difficult task: to ensure that the tennis growth continues exponentially, without slowing down and without leaving behind everything good has been done in recent years.