Tennis: Italian Gaudenzi to take over as ATP chairman in January

Tennis: Italian Gaudenzi to take over as ATP chairman in January

Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi returns the ball to his US opponent Pete Sampras on May 27, 2002, in Paris
Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi returns the ball to his US opponent Pete Sampras on May 27, 2002, in Paris, during a Roland-Garros French Open first round match. (Photo: AFP/Jean-Loup Gautreau)

REUTERS: Former player Andrea Gaudenzi has been appointed as the new ATP chairman on a four-year term that will begin in January, the governing body of men's tennis said.

The 46-year-old Italian, who won three titles on the tour and reached a career-high world ranking of 18 in 1995, will take over from Chris Kermode who will leave his position as ATP executive chairman and president at the end of the year.

"The ATP has played a central part in my life in so many ways and to be given this opportunity to serve as chairman is a true honour," Gaudenzi told the ATP website.

"I look forward to overseeing the future direction of the tour and building on the sport's global success and popularity at what is unquestionably one of the most exciting times in the history of men's professional tennis."

Gaudenzi, the unanimous pick of the ATP board of directors, had most recently served on the board of ATP Media and helped restructure the broadcast arm of the tour.

ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic welcomed the move to appoint Gaudenzi, who has experience in sectors like sports marketing, entertainment, data and technology having pursued a career in business after his playing days.

"As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career," the world number one said.

"He has all the qualities to lead the tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally."

Kermode, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season, said in March he would leave his roles, ending a tenure that brought record prize money but also complaints from lower-ranked players about pay and travel schedules.

Source: Reuters

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