2014/10/24

ATP Chief Brad Drewett Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease

BradDrewett

(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

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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.”

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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.

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