Haggerty succeeds Ricci Bitti as ITF president

David Haggerty has been elected as the new president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), with two of his rivals in the closely fought contest being appointed as vice-presidents of the sport’s global governing body.

The 58-year-old American official succeeds Francesco Ricci Bitti, whose 16-year term as ITF president ended at the federation’s annual general meeting in Santiago, Chile on Friday. Haggerty will serve a four-year term from 2015 to 2019.

Haggerty was elected on the second ballot with 200 votes, defeating India’s Anil Khanna, who gained 192 votes. Switzerland’s Rene Stammbach and Spain’s Juan Margets were eliminated on the first ballot. However, both Khanna and Stammbach, along with Haggerty’s fellow American Katrina Adams, have been elected in vice-presidential roles for the next four-year term.

Haggerty is an experienced tennis administrator, having held a variety of roles within the United States Tennis Association (USTA) since 2001 and within the ITF since 2009. He served as chairman, chief executive and president of the USTA in 2013-14, and was a vice-president on the ITF Board of Directors in 2013-15. He is a former president of the Tennis Industry Association and a current board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Away from tennis administration, Haggerty had a 30-year career in the racket industry, and is a former chairman of Head USA, president of Penn Racquet Sports, and president of Dunlop Maxfli Slazenger Sports.

Haggerty said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be elected president of the ITF. Tennis is the common language that binds all our member nations. It is important that we continue to listen to each other and work together to keep the ITF strong. I want to thank Francesco, who has done so much for the ITF over the last 16 years, for his leadership and friendship.”

Italian official Ricci Bitti, who has been named an honorary life president of the ITF, added: “It has been my pleasure to serve as president for the last 16 years, and I am confident that under David’s leadership, the organisation can continue to grow with the support of the ITF staff and our 210 member nations.”

In other news, the ITF AGM approved an increase in size of the board of directors from 13 plus the president to 15 plus the president, in a bid to include athlete representation. The additional two athlete members will be appointed by the elected members of the board and ratification will be required at the following AGM.

Kosovo has become a member of the ITF for the first time after a successful application for Class B membership. Two Class C members, Nauru and St Vincent & The Grenadines, have been suspended.