Tenniss attention should be on Andreescus exploits, not boardroom coups | Kevin Mitchell

There have been some remarkable results at Indian Wells not least Bianca Andreescus continuing meteoric rise but upsets in the boardroom are less edifying

Tennis continues to rock in the Californian desert. At the Indian Wells Open (which would like to be the sports fifth major), the on-court excitement of upsets in both draws had just about wiped out the lingering vapour trail from last weeks summary dismissal of the ATP chief, Chris Kermode, when a second minor tremor struck.

The three players representatives David Egdes, Justin Gimelstob and Alex Inglot who have spread bewilderment in tennis by effecting a palace coup few previously knew they wanted, are complaining now that their noble cause has been misrepresented.

Apparently, they were carrying out the will of the people well, the 10 people on the players council, an inner cabinet claiming to speak on behalf of their supposedly downtrodden members. And who want their sport back.

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Egdes, who helped Kermodes downfall, says the media (of which he is part, as a boss at the Tennis Channel who also employ Gimelstob) have misrepresented their cause. So, in the interest of balance, here is some of what Egdes claimed in an overnight email, prefacing it with the haughty: There will be no further comments on this matter.

Egdes is surprised at the amount of coverage dedicated to this internal governance decision, adding: It has been disappointing to see the divisions and suspicions that have been stoked in that coverage.

Apologies. What we should have reported was: all is well, and the sacking of a widely admired and innovative administrator who has expanded the sport to the general satisfaction of players and fans over the past six years makes perfect sense at a time when tennis elsewhere is going through the sort of turmoil you would be hard pressed to find outside Westminster.

Egdes explains: All members of the player council, including the 10 current players, as well as the three player board representatives, have spent months discussing and debating the merits and concerns with renewing Chriss contract. He goes on to say we should not minimise their commitment and sacrifice after consultation across the game. Well done for doing your job.

It is worth adding at this point that we have heard in recent days that some of our greatest icons are interested in re-entering the political conversations and helping us and the council guide the next phase of this sports growth. This is fantastic news and all of us welcome them and their unique perspectives.

What he doesnt say is why the players council president, Novak Djokovic, or anyone else, did not have time to talk to these icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in particular before such a crucial vote. Federer pulled the carpet from under Djokovic on Tuesday by revealing, I tried to meet Novak on the deadline. Unfortunately, he had no time. Thats hard to understand for me. But it is OK. He certainly had a lot to do with the whole story.

Belinda
Belinda Bencic celebrates her win over Naomi Osaka. Photograph: Rob Prange/REX/Shutterstock

Shortly afterwards, the world No 1 fell in two sets in the third round to the inconsistent but in-form Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The tournament was further brought to life overnight when Naomi Osaka lost to Belinda Bencic (her 11th straight win, five of them over top 10 players). Then it was the turn of Bianca Bibi Andreescu, whose victory over Wang Qiang to reach her first Tier One quarter-final lifted her from 152 at the start of the season into the top 50 in just five tournaments. On Wednesday night the Canadian teenager became just the third wildcard in the tournaments history to reach the semi-finals by allowing the two-times slam champion Garbie Muguruza just a single game in 52 minutes of exhilarating tennis. It brought her 2019 record in all matches to 26-3 and sent a shiver of delight through the game.

But upsets in the boardroom are less edifying. In a new twist on the concept of democracy, Egdes says … the player council, in consultation with the player board representatives [himself, Gimelstob and Inglot, the brother of Great Britain Davis Cup doubles player, Dominic] decided [himself, Gimelstob and Inglot] were best placed to make the decision on behalf of the player membership. To be clear, this was not a decision made or driven by one or two individuals personal beliefs or agendas.

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Of course not. It was, as he says, the decision of … himself, Gimelstob and Inglot. As Rick in The Young Ones, used to say: It wasnt me, it was the other three. Well, Egdes, Gimelstob and Inglot are the Other Three.

Egdes continues: While the Tour has had a strong five years, we felt that the time was right to look to a new leader for the future. We are not supposed to get too political in the toy department here in sport, but this eerily echoes the awkward doings in the mother of all parliaments.

Legends are still gracing our courts, Egdes points out, the young guns are disrupting the order and engaging fans in new ways, the tournaments remain must-experience and must-attend events. We are confident a new leader will augment our strengths, develop new value and overcome the challenges we face and will face going forward. We now look forward to working closely with the player council, our icons, the tournament membership, the management and a carefully-vetted executive search firm to identify, evaluate and secure the services of the individual who will succeed Chris.

It is touching Egdes can name-check the doomed Kermode by his first name ahead of his departure in November. But who will be next: Justin or David, perhaps? This chumminess disguises a long-running friction that Egdes finds distasteful, yet, as he admits, the denouement was of their own design.

We hope this allows the focus to now solely be on this incredible tournament [Indian Wells] and the amazingly talented players competing in one of our most important events. We all love and believe in our sport and look forward to the next chapter for tennis and the ATP.

Hear, hear!

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Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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