Novak Djokovic open to Chris Kermode U-TURN after Roger Federer claim despite ATP feud

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Back in March in Indian Wells it was announced that Kermode’s contract as ATP president would not be extended beyond the end of the current season.

While the 10-person player council were split, three players’ representatives including Justin Gimelstob all voted against Kermode staying on.

Gimelstob, however, stepped down from the ATP board of directors after being sentenced to three years probation and 60 hours of community service for an assault charge.

World No 1 Djokovic feels that disgraced former player Gimelstob – who pleaded no-contest to his battery charge – is the sport’s “biggest asset” and declared that he is open to the American returning.

That is in contrast to the opinions of fellow stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, with the pair also among Kermode’s biggest supporters.

Speaking of Gimelstob’s exit and what it means for Kermode, 37-year-old Federer declared: “I don’t know exactly the process, when the votes are happening, when the new CEO, all this stuff gets decided. But he’ll probably – anyway it maybe should be put back into the thing, you know, in the mix.”

And Djokovic has, surprisingly, declared that he too would welcome Kermode putting his hat in the ring despite having long clashed with the tennis chief in spite of the tour’s improvements during his tenure.

“I actually think that technically he has the right to – and I’m talking about Chris – he has the right to be in a ballot again,” Djokovic declared.

“He has the right to be a candidate officially for another mandate. 

“And I don’t know whether he wants to do that or not. I haven’t spoken to him about it. 

“But if this happens, yeah, why not? In our sport we need as many of quality candidates as possible. 

“He’s someone that has been a president for quite a few years and knows the tour inside out. 

“And it’s going to be a really important and interesting process for us of recruitment as well.

“I think several companies have been engaged now in the recruiting process and research, so hopefully we can have quality candidates from inside of tennis, sports, and out of sports, so we can understand what is best for us.”

Alexander Zverev recently added himself to the list of players to speak out about the decision to oust Kermode, suggesting that the 54-year-old has done a fine job.

“Novak has been part of the tour for several years,” Zverev told reporters at the Bavarian International in Munich. “He is the best player, No 1 in the world.

“Us, as players, want to look at what’s your plan, Novak? Because Chris Kermode has already done a lot of good things for us, he increased the prize money, added new events to the calendar that pay us well.

“The tour didn’t get worse with him.”

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