(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.”
“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”
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