ATP appoints former player Gaudenzi as chairman

LONDON: The ATP has announced the appointment of former player Andrea Gaudenzi as ATP chairman for a four-year term, beginning 1 January 2020.

The 46-year-old Italian will take over from Chris Kermode who will leave his position as ATP executive chairman and president at the end of the year.

Following a highly accomplished professional career on the ATP Tour during which he won three ATP titles and reached a career-high Ranking of 18, Gaudenzi has forged a successful career in business over the past 15 years and was the unanimous choice of the ATP board of directors.

Gaudenzi across a wide range of sectors including sports marketing, entertainment, data, technology and media. Most recently, he was instrumental in his role on the board of ATP Media, leading the successful restructuring of the business which serves as the broadcast arm of the ATP Tour.

“The ATP has played a central part in my life in so many ways, and to be given this opportunity to serve as ATP chairman is a true honour,” said Gaudenzi. “I look forward to overseeing the future direction of the Tour and building on the sport’s global success and popularity at what is unquestionably one of the most exciting times in the history of men’s professional tennis. I’m very thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started in January.”

Gavin Forbes, ATP board tournament representative, Americas, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrea as the next chairman of the ATP. Following a first-rate career as a player, Andrea has excelled in various roles away from tennis. He offers the rare combination of knowing the business of the ATP Tour inside out, as well as benefitting from invaluable experience away from the sport. He will be able to hit the ground running in January and has all the attributes required to build on the significant growth of our business in recent years.”

Alex Inglot, ATP board player representative, Europe, said: “Andrea offers a compelling range of attributes and experiences inside and outside the sport that will position him very well as we seek to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our organisation. The ATP Tour is a unique 50-50 partnership between players and tournaments, and Andrea’s broad experience across both sides of our membership, as well as a proven track record away from tennis, were exactly what we were looking for as a board.”

Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Player Council, said: “On behalf of the players, I’d like to welcome Andrea as the next chairman of the ATP. As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career. He has all the qualities to lead the Tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally.”

Kermode, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season, said in March he would leave his roles, ending a tenure that brought record prize money but also complaints from lower-ranked players about pay and travel schedules, Reuters reports. 

After his playing career, Gaudenzi obtained a law degree from the University of Bologna, Italy, followed by a Master of Business Administration at the International University of Monaco where he graduated with honours.

More recently, he has held leadership positions at several start-up entertainment, tech and gaming businesses in London, including Musixmatch and Soldo, as well as serving on the board of ATP Media.

With a wide range of candidates from within sport and beyond under consideration for the role, the appointment of Gaudenzi concludes an extensive leadership recruitment process undertaken over the past six months by the ATP board, with the assistance of global leadership advisory and executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.