Federer and Nadal's secret meeting amid shock 'player revolt'

Roger Federer has revealed the chat he had with Rafael Nadal after the ATP chief was voted out by the Players Council.

In a move labelled a ‘player revolt’ by a number of pundits, the Council – headed by Novak Djokovic – voted not to keep Chris Kermode as the male tour’s boss during a meeting at Indian Wells last week.

The decision flew in the face of some high-profile support for Kermode – most notably from big names Federer, Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.

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None of those three are on the Players Council, but Federer has revealed how he and Nadal are privately concerned by the direction they are taking the game.

In an interview with, Federer said: “We’re in a very interesting time I think. We need to have a clear plan – and I’m not sure what the plan is.

“That’s the big thing I worry about. I do believe we have unbelievable players, great matches, new guys coming through, stadiums are full, prize money’s gone up. Everything’s great, it seems like.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“ATP has got their own cup coming, Davis Cup is changing its format we’ll see how that will be, Laver Cup is doing really well. From that standpoint, everything’s actually great.

“Then you talk about politics and it’s all of a sudden, ‘What’s going on here?’ I think we really need to figure it out. I’d like to feel the pulse a little bit of where we’re about to go.

“Clearly we need to decide who the new CEO is going to be or the political side of the game has to do that.

“I would like to take an active role a little bit, to some extent as much time as i have, just to be part of the process.

“Because I do care, and if I do care, I should put it a little work as well.”

Federer also revealed the secret meeting he had with Nadal to discuss things.

“I spoke to Rafa the other day, for quite some time,” he said.

Chris Kermode. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Chris Kermode. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

“He came to the house, we had coffee together. We were just really going through what is going on.

“We’re aligned and we agree that we should be talking and coming up with a proper plan.

“I’d like to hear that from the council and some more players and people to get a better idea of what’s really going on to be quite honest.”

‘Conflict of interest’

Djokovic was tight-lipped while discussing the drama last week.

“It was decided that it’s time for us to look into new leadership on the tour,” he said.

“I will not express my personal views as being for or against. By sharing that information, I expose myself and become liable to breach of confidentiality.

“When you have three votes of the player board and three votes of the tournament board, the president is a tiebreaker in many voting circumstances.

“And in most of the cases, there is a conflict of interest. That is something I feel like, as a group, we need to address.”