ATP Player Council feud: Stan Wawrinka wants to know ‘what is the problem?’

ATP Tour
Stan Wawrinka in action

Stan Wawrinka has weighed in on the drama surrounding the future of ATP chief executive and president Chris Kermode, saying there are no guarantees that things “will be better” under a new CEO.

Kermode’s contract runs out at the end of this year and the ATP Player Council is set to make a decision on his future in March, but they held a preliminary vote and it ended in a 5-5 deadlock.

“The decision hasn’t been made on the president,” Novak Djokovic, world No 1 president of the ATP Player Council, said after Saturday’s meeting.

Rafael Nadal then entered the debate as he revealed he was not consulted, saying: “He’s (Djokovic) in the council or all the players are on the council, they have to come to me.

“That’s why they are in the council and I am not in the council anymore. When I was in the council, that was me — I have to go to the players and ask their opinions. It’s not my work anymore.”

Djokovic again insisted that “no decision had been made” and “we will talk with Roger [Federer], Rafa, anybody who is interested to have a discussion about this”.

The Telegraph has since reported that Wawrinka sent a letter to Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, who himself contacted players ranked between No 50 and 100 calling for change as Kermode was not looking after their interests, saying they should “start acting and running like a business not like a bunch of scared kids … we need a CEO that first and foremost represents OUR interests”.

Wawrinka’s reply starts as follows: “I did not want to spend time writing this the day before a grand slam here in Australia but I am reading crazy things online about player council voting against the CEO yesterday.

“In the player meeting yesterday Andy Murray stand up and said that no player knows that any vote is happening and no players have been asked their opinion. You emailed us Friday telling us your opinion because of grand-slam money and the players’ voice of the ATP and that we need to change CEO.

“I completely disagree and know so many players and so many top players that COMPLETELY disagree with this. The sport and ATP are trying and I repeat moving good forward. In player meeting yesterday, it said the players vote for the ATP is at highest marks ever in history. What is the problem?”

He adds in caps lock: “YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE CURRENT DIRECTION LAST 5 YEARS AND ACCEPT IT IS GOOD AND MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. YOU CANNOT BE SURE IT WILL BE BETTER [under a new ATP president].”


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