Meanwhile, one side-effect of the decision is likely to be that a new pay deal between the players and the tournaments is much harder to strike. Kermode had to chip in with some of the ATP’s own money when the last Masters 1000 deal was finalised in 2014, and a band-aid one-year compromise was then added to that at the end of last year, causing such ill-feeling that Roger Rasheed was fired from his job as a players’ representative.
The other major player in this backstage drama is world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who chairs the players’ council which guides the three players’ representatives on the board. As Djokovic revealed at last year’s Australian Open, he is unhappy with the way the ATP is constituted and would prefer a player’s union.
But many other players are bemused by the fact that Kermode has been defenestrated after a period when their pay-packets have been rising. “I personally believe Chris did a good job,” Rafael Nadal told the BBC this week. “He is a good guy, who did good things for our sport and it would be good if he stays for a while more.”