Sat, Aug 10, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Nadal, Federer decide to re-enter ATP politics

AFP, MONTREAL

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal on Thursday said that he and Roger Federer made a joint decision to stand for the ATP Player Council.

The 33-year-old Spaniard confirmed the choice at the Rogers Cup after reaching the quarter-finals.

Federer and Nadal were elected by fellow players to fill two of the vacancies left by the resignations of Robin Haase, Jamie Murray and Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“We decided to be together out there,” Nadal said. “Both of us can [combine to] be a good power, good help for the sport in some way — hopefully in a better way.”

“We are here to help and to know a little bit better what’s going on. Last year have been some up and downs in a lot of things,” he added.

Controversy has arisen over the past few months, with ATP Council president Novak Djokovic often on the opposite side of discussions from Nadal and Federer.

The world No. 1 Serb has clashed with many fellow players on the decision to dispense with the services of ATP CEO Chris Kermode, a popular figure in tennis.

Splits widened at Wimbledon, when Djokovic was taken to task over his relationship with the disgraced Justin Gimelstob.

Gimelstob, who has sat on the council, earlier this year pleaded no contest to assault charges in Los Angeles for attacking a man in front of his wife and children last year.

Djokovic has come under fire for refusing to rule out a possible return to the board for Gimelstob.

An ATP spokesman said that Nadal and Federer would begin their roles with immediate effect and would serve until the end of the existing term, which runs through Wimbledon next year.

“[There have been some] tough moments in terms of discussions — a lot of important things to have to be done,” Nadal said in vague reference to various ATP situations.

“I will try and give my opinion after more than 15 years on the tour. I can probably give a different perspective on how the game has to be or things that we can add,” Nadal added.

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