MADRID – Roger Federer believes there should be lessons learned from the Justin Gimelstob ordeal, and is happy the American chose to step down from his position on the ATP board.
Gimelstob plead no contest to a felony assault, reduced to a misdemeanour, after attacking an old friend, venture capitalist Randall Kaplan last Halloween.
The former tennis player, who is also the coach of John Isner, was sentenced to three years of probation, must serve 60 days of community service and complete 52 weeks of anger management classes.
Gimelstob has been an influential figure in the political scene on the men’s tour and was believed to be a key factor behind the non-renewal of ATP chief executive Chris Kermode’s contract beyond 2019.
Now that Gimelstob has vacated his board seat, many believe the decision on Kermode’s fate should be reversed.
“I don’t know exactly the process, when the votes are happening, when the new CEO, all this stuff gets decided. But anyway, (Kermode) should maybe be put back in the mix,” Federer told reporters at the Madrid Open on Sunday.
“But then again, I don’t know if he would want to be after everything that happened. Sometimes when these things happen, it is like ‘Okay, I had a good run, and it’s okay to go’.”
The silence from the leading voices of the game following news of Gimelstob’s sentencing was seen as deafening, with only players like Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka calling for his removal from the board, before the American took the decision himself.
“I think it’s definitely the right move by Justin. He needs to go back and figure things out. There is no doubt about that. And the Tour needs to keep moving forward in these challenging times and important times right now,” said Federer.
“I was speaking also to some of the players on the Council to get a feel where they were standing when everything was brewing, and I’m happy that the decision was taken by Justin, and that now we can move forward and really like learn from what had happened also.”AFP