Aug 22, 2008

De Villiers Out As ATP Executive Chairman

The top players must be cheering in New York now.

Back in March, Etienne De Villiers, Executive Chairman and President of the ATP, had come under criticism including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. At the Sony Ericsson Open, every top 20 player signed a letter to the ATP Board of Directors demanding the De Villiers' contract not be renewed until other candidates were interviewed for his position.

And their wishes come true. De Villiers announced that he will not be renewing his contract at the end of the 2008 season.
"I was tasked by the ATP Board, three years ago, to create a vision that would involve bold changes for our sport. I believe that has now been achieved."

"I believe we have delivered the biggest modernisation of the ATP Tour since its inception, have attracted unprecedented levels of investment into men's tennis and have begun to feed the growing appetite for men's tennis globally, both in established and emerging markets," De Villiers said in a statement."

"I am incredibly proud of what the Board and my dedicated team have achieved for men's tennis and I am honoured to have played a part in taking our great sport to the next level. Now that this much needed change has been realised I believe this is the right time for someone new to build on this strong platform."

"I leave knowing, without doubt, that finally our players, tournaments and above all our fans have the foundations of a world class sport they truly deserve."
Now, De Villiers who is the architect of the ATP's "Brave New World" plan (that will reorganize the men’s tour), will never be around to see it put into place.

(Image by AFP/Getty Images/File/Ezra Shaw)

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