Now that he has announced that he is gone as of December 2008 more is coming out about the why of his departure. Thanks to Tennis Week's Richard Evans we have the following information about the departure of Etienne De Villiers from the ATP.
The sad thing is that a majority of the very top players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal actually seem to dislike de Villiers personally. But, equally sadly, de Villiers brought that on himself. There is an anger inside him which he does not seem able to control. Charming one minute, he could blow a gasket the next. Staff below the executive level were afraid of him; players who were only trying to put forward alternative opinions were shocked at being yelled at and the leaders of other tennis organizations such as the ITF and Grand Slam chairmen quickly tired of his outbursts.
But it was the manner in which he tried to implement them which made him either feared or disliked. You can only storm out of so many meetings before people lose patience with you.
And you cannot fool tennis players. The current group at the top of the game — one of the brightest collection of young men that we have had for some time — were the first to see through the South African’s bombast. From the moment Federer, Nadal and Nikolay Davydenko, fully supported by ATP Council President Ivan Ljubicic, went public at a joint press conference in Monte Carlo 2007 to criticize their leader for proposals that eventually ended up costing the ATP a fortune in a Delaware court room, the writing was on the wall.
The ATP won the case against Hamburg a couple of weeks ago but, as I explain in the new issue of Tennis Week, the whole performance did no one any good and a lot of people’s reputations suffered as a result of what was revealed at the trial. Not for the first time, the game’s image suffered as a result of pig-headed and poorly executed leadership.
For the entire article please go to The Evans Report