Kermode to leave role as ATP president at end of year

Chris Kermode, the executive chairman and president of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), will leave the post when his term finishes at the end of this year.

The decision not to give Kermode a new contract followed an ATP board meeting in Indian Wells on Thursday.

The Briton’s future had been in doubt in recent months after it emerged that he did not enjoy the full support of the influential ATP Player Council under the presidency of Novak Djokovic.

During his two three-year terms, Kermode has overseen an increase in prize money and revenues, the creation of new events such as the Next Gen ATP Finals and the upcoming ATP Cup, as well as a commercial partnership with Emirates.

However, many leading players did not feel he was the best person to take the men’s professional tour forwards, feeling that they deserved a greater share of prize money. There were also growing complaints from lower-ranked players about their pay and travel schedules.

At a press conference on Thursday, Djokovic said he thanked Kermode for his “service and contribution” but said it was time for a change.

“It was decided in our governing structure, such as it is, that it is time for us to look into new leadership on the tour. That’s all there is,” the Serb told reporters, adding that he would not reveal how he voted due to a confidentiality clause.

The ATP did not say when it expects to have a new president in place. Possible replacements include American Justin Gimelstob, an ATP board member and former player, and Anne Worcester, a former WTA chief executive.

Gimelstob’s future in tennis is unclear, however, as he faces assault charges, which he strenuously denies, in the United States.