Rafael Nadal hits out at Novak Djokovic and ATP player council over Chris Kermode future

Nadal was not happy (Picture: Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal expressed his concern that he had not been approached by a member of the ATP players council regarding the future of president Chris Kermode, admitting he expected to be consulted on such an important decision.

Kermode’s term comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2019 season, with council members split over whether he should continue in his role as CEO.

President Novak Djokovic is believed to be one of the players keen to see a new president in charge from 2020 but an official vote on the council’s decision has been pushed back until later this year.

Nadal was quizzed over his thoughts on Kermode’s situation and wouldn’t hide his displeasure at not being approached by one of the council representatives to garner his opinion on the matter.

‘Being honest, I am not in the council anymore, and at the same time, nobody from the council side came to me and asked me my opinion,’ he said after his first-round win over James Duckworth.

Djokovic is believed to want Kermode out (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)

‘So I can’t have a real opinion on all of this, because no one of my representatives came to me and asked me if I am happy with the president or not.

‘Was the first information I had that maybe Chris is not continuing. No, no, I didn’t heard about it, but I suppose if something, some crucial decisions like this, I don’t know, I understand that somebody from the council should come to me and ask my position.

‘But I know is not always the right thing and easy thing to do.’

Roger Federer admitted he was in a similar position in his pre-tournament press conference, but said he would seek discussions with Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray in order to get a clearer picture on the matter.

Federer planned talks with the rest of the ‘Big Four’ (Picture: Getty)

But Nadal insists the council members should be coming to him, rather than the other way around, while he extended his backing to Kermode.

‘I don’t have to go. He’s [Djokovic] in the council or all the players are on the council, they have to come to me,’ he added. That’s why they are in the council and I am not in the council anymore.

‘When I was in the council, that was me I have to go to the players and ask their opinions. It’s not my work anymore.

‘By the way, if they want to read my opinion, I tell you, I think I believe in the projects at long term, not short term, as everybody knows in my life. And because of that, I believe that is not good to have changes all the time, because is difficult to develop a good project of work if we have changes every three, four years. Is difficult.

Kermode’s future is unclear (Picture: Getty Images)

‘So I don’t know. I believe that Chris probably did some good work out there, and I don’t see him doing negative things or enough negative things to not continue in the position.

‘That today probably he knows all the situation of the world of tennis better than a new person that should come and will lose a period of time knowing all the things, how it’s going, how the things are going, no?’

While Nadal wants to see Kermode continue in his role, he admitted he was upset with the ATP’s response to the flash floods in Majorca.

Nadal donated €1million to victims and helped with the clean up in the municipality of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar but was disappointed by a perceived lack of support from the governing body of men’s tennis.

‘In the other hand, I would love to see from the ATP some support to the people from Mallorca,’ he continued. I did some donation to the people.

Nadal helped clean up after the floods (Picture: Solarpix)

‘For me will be, I will feel supported if I receive economical – if the ATP did an economical support to that people during that terrible period of time that we had at home, and with people that was very next to me.

‘And I believe they are 100% free to do what they did, but in my opinion, if something happens to the country of one of the players that did, in my opinion, important things for this sport and give a lot of things to the sport, not talking about me, talking about Roger, Novak, Andy, something happens to the people next to them, I would love to see the organization that is running the sport supporting that people.

‘Didn’t happen in my case. I can’t be happy with that, but in terms of the president thing, I believe will be good for the sport if he continues.’


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