ATP Chairman Brad Drewett Dies

Brad Drewett China Launch Of The 2009 ATP World Tour

(May 3, 2013) Brad Drewett, a former tour player who was the ATP executive chairman died on Friday. He was 54.The Australian who had Lou Gehrig’s disease, passed away at his home in Sydney. Drewett is credited in helping to increase prize money at Grand Slam tournaments. Drewett had led the ATP World Tour since January 2012. He first was hired by the ATP back in 2006 to head operations in Middle East, Asia and the Pacific regions.

Drewett was a former Top 40 singles and Top 20 doubles player before he retired in 1990. During his pro tennis career he captured two singles titles and seven doubles crowns.

Before the men’s draw at the Madrid Open on Friday, a moment of silence was held for Drewett.  The Portugal Open is scheduled to hold a minute’s silence Saturday before the first men’s semifinal.

Back in January Drewett announced that he had motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Drewett leaves behind his wife, Joanne, and children Jack, Ally, Joe and Tom.


Reaction around the tennis world:

The ATP is deeply saddened to announce that Brad Drewett passed away at his home in Sydney, Australia, earlier today. Brad, who served as ATP Executive Chairman and President since January 2012, had been suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

Our thoughts are with Brad’s family on this extremely sad day for them, the ATP and the entire international tennis community. He will be sorely missed by all.

-Statement from the ATP World Tour


“The ITF family is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Brad Drewett. Brad was a valued friend and colleague to many of us here at the ITF, and we were very happy to support him during his various roles at the ATP, most recently as Chairman. His knowledge, experience and enthusiasm will be a great loss to the whole sport. We send our deepest sympathies to Brad’s family and to everyone at the ATP during this very sad time.”

- ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti


“Brad was an incredibly warm human being and a dedicated family man. He also was always an inspiring leader. Today the entire tennis community mourns the loss of a great friend and colleague. Brad’s contributions as a player and visionary leader make him one of the greatest in making tennis the popular, worldwide sport it is today. The recent prize money increases with the Grand Slams are perfect examples of Brad’s brilliant strategic management, and another example of how much he cared about our athletes and the sport’s long-term growth. His legacy as a leader, as a person, and as a father who always put his family first, will have an everlasting impact on tennis. Our prayers go out to his wife Jo and his children Jack, Ally, Joe and Tom, and to the entire ATP family.”

- Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO


“Tennis Channel laments the passing of our great friend and colleague Brad Drewett. Our heavy hearts are with his family and the entire tennis family today,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “Tennis has lost a great leader and human being who accomplished so much for the sport he loved.”

-Statement from Ken Solomon chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel


“The tennis world lost a strong leader, true gentleman and a great friend today in ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett. Brad left an indelible mark on the game and everyone who knew him. The USTA will continue to keep Brad in our thoughts as well as his family, friends and ATP staff.”

-David Haggerty, USTA Chairman, CEO and President regarding Brad Drewett


“A very sad day for the world of sports and tennis in particular. Our president Brad has passed away. Rest in peace.”

-Rafael Nadal posted on Facebook


“Very sad to hear of the passing of our ATP CEO Brad Drewett. Prayers to his family. Very very sad day for our great sport. RIP Brad”

-Mardy Fish on Twitter


When men (and women) 1st round losers at Wimbledon in June receive cheque for £23,500 they should offer a prayer of thanks to Brad Drewett.

-Neil Harman, tennis journalist on Twitter


“RIP Brad Drewett. Thank you for all you have done for our sport. You will be deeply missed.”

-John Isner on Twitter


“Brad. Thank you for everything you did for our sport. Thank you thank you thank you. This is just not fair. Nothing else to add. R.I.P”

-Ivan Ljubicic on Twitter


“Brad, like every Aussie that has played and served the sport of tennis, you were just a “bloody great bloke!” You will always be remembered!”

-Rob Koenig on Twitter


“Sad day for tennis, losing Brad Drewett. Thank you for everything. May you rest in peace.”

-Milos Raonic on Twitter


“Devastated with the loss of Brad Drewett. He was a kind, smart & decent man who loved tennis. We will never forget u mate. RIP my friend.”

-Renee Stubbs


“RIP Brad Drewett, a down to earth person who got more done as ATP CEO than most of us thought possible.”

-Steve Tignor, tennis journalist on twitter.


“Very very very sad day for tennis to hear about the passing of our CEO Brad Drewitt. RIP”

-Stanislas Wawrinka


We are all deeply saddened by the news of Brad’s passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this devastating time.

Brad has always been a much loved friend and colleague to the Australian tennis family as well as an inspirational leader of our sport on the world stage.

He will be sorely missed.

-Tennis Australia’s Steve Healy, President, Steve Wood, CEO and Craig Tiley, Director of Tennis


“Brad has been a passionate and dedicated leader all of his life. sHe is someone who always prioritized what was best for the game. On behalf of our entire organization, we want to offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends and he will remain in our thoughts.”

-Tennis Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Downey


ATP Chief Brad Drewett Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease


(January 15, 2013) MELBOURNE, Australia — ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The ATP World Tour released the following statement:

Brad Drewett will enter a transition period as ATP Executive Chairman and President due to illness, the ATP announced today.

Drewett, who took over as ATP Executive Chairman and President on 1 January 2012, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He will continue in his current role on an interim basis as the ATP Board of Directors begins the search process for his successor in the near future.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Executive Chairman and President of the ATP, an organization that I’ve been a part of for more than 35 years since I became a professional tennis player,” said Drewett. “I hold the ATP very close to my heart, and it’s with sadness that I make the decision to enter this transition period due to my ill-health.”

Roger Federer, President of the ATP Player Council, said: “Brad has become a good friend of mine over the years and this is very sad news for all of us at the ATP and the entire tennis community. He is well liked and respected by everyone and has done a tremendous job in leading the ATP over the past 12 months, overseeing some major initiatives and a record-breaking year in 2012. His dedication and service to the sport over the years has been truly admirable and he has been a central figure in helping to grow the ATP product across the globe. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.”

Drewett has been part of the ATP for more than 35 years, as a player, ATP Player Council member, ATP Player Board member, as CEO of the International Region, Tournament Director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and most recently as the ATP Executive Chairman and President for the last 12 months.

“The thoughts and prayers of the WTA family are with Brad, his family and the entire ATP community at this very difficult time,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO. “We know he will fight this terrible disease every step of the way, and have our full support for whatever he needs.”

“Brad’s incredible contribution to the game in Australia and worldwide is obvious to all. For more than three decades he has been a much loved member of the Australian tennis family. All of our thoughts are very much with Brad and his family at this time.”  – Steve Healy, Tennis Australia President and Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO

“The Grand Slam tournaments are saddened to learn of Brad’s condition and everyone sends their prayers and any support needed to him and his family during this difficult period. Brad’s longstanding commitment to the Sport marks him as a true member of our tennis family and we wish him well in the fight ahead.” -Bill Babcock, Director, Grand Slam Committee

“Everyone in the ITF family is saddened to learn that Brad Drewett will step down from his position as ATP Chairman following his diagnosis with ALS. Some of us at the ITF have known Brad since he was a player; many others have known him in his various roles at the ATP and all of us like and respect him. We were very happy to support him when he worked through the ATP International Group and then the Tennis Masters Cup to help to open the great country of China to our sport which will always be noted as one of his outstanding achievements. For the ITF and for me personally, he is more than a colleague, he is a friend, and I want Brad to know we are available to do whatever is needed to help support him and his family. We send our thoughts and good wishes to Brad and his family and to everyone at the ATP during this difficult time.” -ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti


Tennis Australia and ATP Issue Statements on Player Meetings in Shanghai


The ATP Player Council has been meeting with Tennis Australia and the ATP during the Shanghai Masters tournament. On Thursday, the ATP and Tennis Australia released Statements in regard to the discussions.

Tennis Australia Statement on Australian Open prize money

“Tennis Australia has had some very constructive and positive discussions with the ATP and the Player Council.

“We feel we have been well received and are buoyant about the future. We have talked about our long term plans for player compensation, including further significant increases, and the feedback we have received from the ATP and the players has been positive.

“We have plans for further discussions regarding distribution and will also be having talks with the WTA to get their feedback.

“Our intention has always been to make a major contribution toward improving the compensation of professional tennis players to make their profession more viable throughout their ranks. The attitude of the players has been very pleasing.”

Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO

ATP Statement On Australian Open Prize Money Discussions

Following meetings in Shanghai, ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett said:

“The ATP has had encouraging and positive discussions with Tennis Australia regarding the long term plans for player compensation at the Australian Open. Tennis Australia deserves credit for the way they have recognized the significant input the players have in the success of the tournament.

“I’m delighted the players have given their full support to the ATP leadership during this process with the Australian Open, as well as backing our decision to pursue this issue through constructive dialogue. I am confident that the ATP and our players will remain committed to the ongoing discussions with the other Grand Slam tournaments.”


Nishikori Wins Japan Open

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo on Sunday when he stopped the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic for the title 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 for his second career ATP World Tour title. His first tournament win came at Delray Beach in 2008 as a qualifier.

Nishikori, from Shimane Prefecture in southern Japan, ranked No. 17 in the world and rising, delighted his home crowd with the win.

”To have won this tournament in Japan is a very happy occasion for me,” Nishikori said. ”I made an effort to approach today’s match as the challenger.”

”I wish I could have started off serving better,” Raonic said. ”He was reading my serve really well from the beginning and that usually doesn’t happen. I didn’t create the opportunities and go for it like the previous two days.’

“He just played too well. There’s not too much I could do. He played better than me and deserved to win. [In the third set], he started playing well, was reading me a bit more, and a few mistakes starting coming from me.”

“I have not been able to play well in Japan until now,” Nishikori said, “so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so. But [after] the match against [Tomas] Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this.

“He (Milos) attacks on his returns and goes up to the net quickly. And he is willing to take risks. I watched him play [Andy] Murray. Despite the break in the first game, there were some dangerous moments in the first set. I tried to stay aggressive. I was able to continue doing so and was able to get the final set 6-0.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Kei Nishikori on becoming the first Japanese man to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title in Tokyo,” ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett said. Kei is a terrific player who is already a star at home in Japan and among the Top 20 players in the world. I’m sure this historic win over a very difficult field in Tokyo will give him great confidence and we look forward to seeing all that he can do. Kei has a very bright future on the ATP World Tour and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

This was the youngest ATP final of the year with 21-year-old Raonic playing 22-year-old Nishikori in their first encounter.


New ATP Chief Drewett Meets the Media at the Australian Open

MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Newly appointed ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett addressed the media on Wednesday morning in his introductory news conference.

Drewett was a former pro on the ATP World Tour for 12 years. He served on the ATP Player Council, an ATP Board member and recently as hte CEO of the ATP’s International region.

“The men’s game is in an unbelievable position, arguably the best ever,” said Drewett. “We’ve had a great crop of players in terms of names that drive the sport over the years.  Men’s tennis has a good habit of doing that, whether it be back in the ’90s, Becker, Edberg, Lendl, and then later Sampras, Agassi, Courier.  But really this current crop of players is something really, really special for a number of reasons.”
” Firstly, Roger and Rafa over the last six or seven years have really driven an amazing amount of interest towards the sport.  With Novak hot on their heels for a number of years at No. 3, all of a sudden last year has a year right out of the box, one of the great years of all time.  Then obviously Andy Murray is right there behind them and I think will win his first slam sooner than later.
” But what really encourages me, you’ve got those four guys, but the next crop of guys after them, Del Potro, Tsonga, David Ferrer, Gaël Monfils.  These are all not only great players, they’re guys that can fill any stadium in the world.  I think that really is part of the great strength of our sport today, not just the top four players, but also the names behind them, the personalities behind those players.  So we really are in an incredible position right now.”

Drewett noted that the season will be two weeks shorter than last year and a 20 percent increase in prize money. “At our tournaments last year we had in excess of 4.3 million people again come through the gates.  That success is going to be reflected this year by an increase in prize money.  In fact, over the next three years, each year there will be an increase, which in total will be approximately a 20% increase, which I think the players thoroughly deserve given that they are driving a lot of the success of this sport.
“So 2012 I think we have to look forward to another great, great year.”

Drewett sees his goal as promoting the sport.

Drewett addressed the recent player meeting and the talk of a strike. “We had a player meeting the other night, as you know.  It’s not often the players get together in one room.  Personally, whether I was on that side, now on this side of the player meeting, I’ve always seen them as a great opportunity for the players to openly and honestly give their opinions.  That’s the reason we have those meetings.

” Certainly the other day, just like we’ve had any number of times, the players are very vocal about what’s on their mind.  I saw it as a very constructive meeting where I want to encourage guys to speak openly in that forum, speak openly with me.

“I think, as I said, there’s always some issues around.  There is some frustration on certain points within the game.  Nothing’s ever perfect in any world, and certainly not in the tennis world.  As I said, I think the game is clearly in a great spot.”
“That doesn’t mean there’s not always going to be some issues on the side.  That’s for me to listen.  I heard the players loud and clear the other night about their issues.
“They’re obviously a very, very important part of this organization.  As a former player, I hope I understand their issues as much as anyone.  My plan is to represent their opinions wherever it needs to be represented and make sure they’re heard.

“Once again, whenever you have players and tournaments at the table, you’re always going to have a number of different views and opinions.  What happens now is that debate takes place, as I call it, inside the house.
“The players actually are owners of half this organization.  There’s not too many other player and sports leagues that can say that.
Once again, no organization, no structure in any company, not just the ATP, could ever say it’s absolutely perfect.  There are issues.  I’m not saying there’s not.  But I believe, when you look at the last 20 plus years, that’s a long time.  Things have worked well.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


ATP Names Brad Drewett Executive Chairman and President


From the ATP World Tour: The ATP has announced that Brad Drewett, former player and current ATP senior executive, has been named as the organization’s new Executive Chairman and President. His new role will begin on January 1, 2012. He will be based in,the ATP’s London office.

The 53-year-old Australian’s 3-year appointment was voted unanimously by the ATP Board of Directors with Drewett considered to be ideally qualified to take on the multi-faceted role with his extensive experience at the ATP. Drewett currently serves as CEO of the ATP International Group, where he has overseen operations in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific regions since 1999. Prior to that, Drewett served as an elected member of the Player Council and an ATP Player Board Representative (1993-1999). He has also been Tournament Director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and formerly the Tennis Masters Cup since 2001, and has been instrumental in the event’s tremendous success.

During his 12-year professional playing career, Drewett reached a career-high ranking of 34 in singles, winning two ATP World Tour titles, and represented Australia in Davis Cup competition. The Australian Open Junior champion (1975, 1977) reached the quarter-finals in his first Grand Slam in Melbourne in 1976.

“I am honoured to have this opportunity to lead the ATP, an organisation that I am proud to have been a part of since the beginning of my professional playing career,” Drewett said. “The ATP World Tour and men’s tennis are stronger than ever and it is my intention to continue to lead the organisation on this successful path, working hand in hand with our players and tournaments. I am very excited about the opportunities ahead.”

ATP Player Council President Roger Federer said, “Brad is a very experienced executive and has been an effective leader within the ATP for many years. He understands the global nature of the business as well as the complexities of dealing with all of the Tour’s stakeholders. I am confident that Brad’s work ethic and leadership will help contribute to the continued success of the ATP World Tour.”

ATP Board Representative Gavin Forbes said, “Brad has the perfect combination of proven business abilities and understanding of player and tournament perspectives to oversee the continued growth of the ATP World Tour. He has been an integral part of the Tour’s success over the last decade, and will be able to get straight to work in January thanks to his deep relationships within the sport.”