ATP chief Kermode re-appointed, says integrity paramount

Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:00am EST
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By Martyn Herman

(Reuters) - Protecting the integrity of tennis is paramount if the sport is to continue reaping the benefits of a golden era, ATP Executive Chairman Chris Kermode said on Thursday.

Tennis has enjoyed boom times in the past decade with men's tennis in particular cashing on rivalries between the likes of all-time greats Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

With commercial revenues and prize money soaring, the ATP World Tour attracting a record 1 billion viewers in 2015 and the London Tour Finals an unqualified success, the sport looks to be in rude health.

Yet, so far this year allegations of match-fixing and now doping have overshadowed events on the court.

Kermode, who was appointed for a second term on Thursday having been in the post since 2014, said keeping the sport above board and transparent was one of the key challenges he faced.

"It's of huge importance and paramount to the whole of the sport," Kermode told Reuters of the battle to root out the threat of match-fixing.

"The health of tennis is about two things, it's about believing what you are watching and about caring who wins.

"We have to make sure that integrity is safeguarded and we are all taking it very, very seriously."   Continued...

International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty (L-R), Tennis Integrity Board Chairman Philip Brook and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Chairman Chris Kermode hold a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter