Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer returned to the ATP Player Council as announced by the Associations of Tennis Professionals on Thursday following a controversial year in the politics of the ATP tour. The duo, along with Jurgen Melzer, are elected as a replacement for Jamie Murray, Robin Haase, and Sergiy Stakhovsky, who resigned from their positions at the ATP Player Council prior to the Wimbledon Championships 2019.
Rafael Nadal is currently participating at the Montreal Open 2019, where he defeated Guido Pella in the second round on Thursday. In a post-match interview, Rafael Nadal opened up about his plans to bring some positive changes at the ATP Player Council.
Talking about the ATP Player Council, the Spaniard said, “The last couple of times have been some tough moments in terms of discussions, a lot of important things to have to be done. So just to be a little bit more informed about what’s going on and try to have a better knowledge of everything, try to give my opinion after more than 15 years on the tour.”
Rafael Nadal believes that he can provide a different standpoint to the council in order to improve the game. “Probably I can give a different perspective of how the game has to be or things that we can add. It is about just trying to help the game to be better. If I am there, I believe that I can be helpful,” the World No.2 said.
Rafael Nadal’s previous term on the ATP Player Council ended with his resignation in 2012. He served as the Vice President whereas Federer was the President of the Council. According to the reports, Nadal was exhausted by an inability to pass reforms that he requested, such as a 2-year ranking system.
Nadal took a dig at Federer after his resignation in 2012. He said, “It is very easy [for Federer] to say, ‘I am not going to say anything, everything is positive’ and come off as a gentleman and burn the rest.”
However, the 33-year-old now feels that he and Roger Federer committed to returning to the council together to improve the game “in a better way”. “We decided to be together out there,” the Spaniard told the media in Montreal. “If we are there is because we spoke before about being there. I will not be alone there, he will not be alone there.”
Rafael Nadal surmised that he along with Federer can be a good power, good help for the sport in some way, hopefully in a better way. Nadal suggested that they are here to help and, of course, to know a little bit better what’s going on as the last year have been some up and downs in a lot of things.
Novak Djokovic, the President of the ATP Player Council and Justin Gimelstob were against the extension of ATP chief Chris Kermode’s contract. However, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Stan Wawrinka publicly supported Kermode, whose six-year contract ends at the conclusion of 2019. The Swiss also suggested that he tried to have a talk with the Serb but it did not happen.
In response, Federer and Nadal met during the Indian Wells Masters when the 20-time Grand Slam suggested that the pair are I think alike in exerting greater influence in political decisions.
“Novak has been there for a while,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said. “We have been there in the past. Is good that players are interested in what’s going on in our sport. I think all our careers, Roger and I cared a lot about this sport. Is true, as I said before, there is a lot of things that have been going on. We want to be part of it. That’s why we are there now.”
Vasek Pospisil also feels that bringing Nadal and Federer into the council would be helpful. He suggested that the decision to bring the duo was “quite a unanimous” decision from the existing members. He said, “The three greatest of all time, and that carries a lot of weight. If they’re aligned and in the same boat with the same goals in mind, a lot can be accomplished.”
Daniel Vallverdu and Jamie Murray were also delighted to see Federer and Nadal returning to the ATP Player Council.
— Daniel Vallverdu (@danielvallverdu) August 8, 2019
— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) August 8, 2019