Novak Djokovic backs ‘big asset’ Justin Gimelstob’s ‘wise decision’ to step down

ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic press conference

Novak Djokovic says Justin Gimelstob made a “good decision” to quit his post on the ATP Board, but he didn’t close the door on a possible return for the American.

The 42-year-old Gimelstob pleaded no contest to felony battery charges in a Los Angeles court in April and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 60 hours of community service.

Nine days after the court ruling he resigned from his post on the ATP Board, saying in a statement that he has “become too much of a distraction and a liability”.

World No 1 Djokovic is the latest player, alongside the likes of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, to welcome the decision while the Serb added that Gimelstob needs to “find the right balance” before considering a comeback.

“Under the circumstances it was a wise decision from his side and it’s been a very hot topic in the last period,” he is quoted as saying in Metro.co.uk.

“And it’s unfortunate because I think he has been probably the biggest asset that players had in the last ten-plus years that he’s been on the tour representing players.

“But at the same time, these are kind of unfortunate circumstances and he needs to go back and deal with that, deal with that case and try to find the right balance and the right state of mind before he eventually tries to come back.

“I think just at this point it was better for him to step down because the whole case was just posing so much pressure and obstacles for the tour in general, but specifically for players. And, yeah, so I think it was a good decision.”

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