ATP Tour president heaps praise on Dubai tournament's officials

ATP Tour president heaps praise on Dubai tournament's officials
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Published March 3rd, 2015 - 14:11 GMT via

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 Dubai tournament has a very good feel — Chris Kermode
Dubai tournament has a very good feel — Chris Kermode

The multi-award-winning Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships can show the way for tournaments all over the world, according to ATP Tour Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode.

The Dubai tournament was last week honoured with the prize for the best ATP 500 tournament for a record 11th time in the last 12 years, joining the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (Masters 1000) and Queen’s Club, London, (ATP 250) as the players’ favourite destinations.

“When a player goes to an event he wants to feel welcomed, that’s the first point. He wants to feel comfortable in the environment. He wants to be looked after and respected and I think when they come here, [tournament director] Salah [Tahlak] and his team have just consistently listened to players and their requirements, what they need and what they would like to make their stay here more comfortable,” Kermode told Gulf News.

“This doesn’t happen overnight. This event has grown over many years and this, I think, has shown the eagerness and wish of the organising team to try and improve each year.

“If we stand still then it would not have happened. I came here ten years ago and I think it has grown enormously.

“The hotel being on site now helps as it makes everything else so easy, and I think everyone gets a very good feel about Dubai. It can definitely show the way for some other tournaments across the world.”

Kermode was previously the Tournament Director of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, as well as Managing Director of the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, held at the O2 Arena in London since 2008.

And he added: “I think for me it’s about passing on the good. We need to have a family feel at our events and bring the sport closer to the people.

“From my experience each market has its own taste and different demographics. I want to tap into a much wider market and bring the sport even closer to the fans and to the action where they can feel it.

“There are so many times when people are unaware of the dynamics of our sport. Tennis is an incredible sport and I do think that this is the most incredible sport on the planet. But we need to get that audience in to experience this.”

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