Rafael Nadal says ousting ATP boss Chris Kermode would be counterproductive

Chris Kermode and Rafael Nadal at ATP Finals
Chris Kermode, pictured with Rafael Nadal at the 2017 ATP Finals, took over as ATP president in January 2014

Rafael Nadal has warned players intent on ousting the head of the ATP that changing the president will "stop the process of improving the sport".

A vote on Briton Chris Kermode's future is due to take place at an ATP board meeting in Indian Wells on Thursday.

The 54-year-old's second three-year term expires at the end of the year.

To secure a new term, Kermode needs the support of tournament and player representatives, but some influential players are agitating for change.

But 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal's view is that change right now would be counterproductive.

"I believe in long-term projects," the 32-year-old Spaniard told a group of reporters at Indian Wells.

"I am not a very big fan of changing things very often. I really think there's a lot of things to do - we need to sign a contract for the World Tour Finals, and there's a new ATP Cup.

"When you change, you go through a process. A new president needs time to know all the things and create a team, so in my opinion changing the president will stop the process of improving our sport.

"I personally believe Chris did a good job. He is a good guy, who did good things for our sport and it would be good if he stays for a while more."

The ATP board consists of three tournament representatives, and three player representatives. Kermode will need the support of at least two of each to stay in his post.

The player representatives are likely to be heavily influenced by the deliberations of the ATP Player Council, which met under the presidency of world number one Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

Sources suggest Kermode does not enjoy their majority support and that player representatives are minded to vote against an extension of his contract.

Supporters of Kermode point to large increases in prize money and pension contributions, as well as innovative new events like the Next Gen ATP Finals.

One of his chief critics is Canadian player Vasek Pospisil. The world number 114 is a member of the Player Council and at the Australian Open wrote a letter to fellow players which ended up in the public domain.

He argues players do not receive nearly enough of the revenue generated by the sport.

"We need a CEO that first and foremost represents OUR interests," he wrote.

"We need a structure that prevents influence peddling by the deep-pocketed tournaments. In short, we need to start acting and running like a business, not like a bunch of scared kids."

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