The highly-charged political situation within men’s tennis took another intriguing turn on Thursday when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were both appointed to the ATP Player Council.
Federer and Nadal have been outspoken critics of the direction in which the tour has been taken over the last year with their great on-court rival Novak Djokovic as council president.
The ousting of Chris Kermode as ATP executive chairman and president and support for Justin Gimelstob, one of the players’ representatives on the board, after he pleaded no contest to a charge of battery, have been the biggest flash points.
Gimelstob eventually stood down but his friend Weller Evans was selected to replace him.
Jamie Murray, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Robin Haase subsequently resigned from the council following a meeting before the Wimbledon Championships
It was expected that the remaining members of the council would elect players aligned with their own views to replace them but instead they have chosen to bring in two of the biggest stars in the game along with Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer.
The trio of Nadal, Melzer and Federer will commence their roles with immediate effect and will serve until the end of the existing term which runs through until Wimbledon 2020.
ATP Player Council
|1-50 Singles||Kevin Anderson (VP), John Isner, Rafael Nadal, Sam Querrey|
|51-100 Singles||Yen-Hsun Lu, Vasek Pospisil|
|1-100 Doubles||Jurgen Melzer, Bruno Soares|
|At Large||Novak Djokovic (P), Roger Federer|
Both Federer and Nadal have previously had spells on the council and clearly want to have more influence on the immediate future of the tour at an important moment in its history.