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Tennis Family Rallies Around Brad Drewett

Brad Drewett

Drewett© Getty ImagesBrad Drewett

The tennis community has rallied around Brad Drewett, who announced Monday that he would enter a transition period as ATP Executive Chairman and President after being diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Drewett will enter a transition period while the ATP Board of Directors begins the search process for his successor in the near future.

Drewett has been part of the ATP for more than 35 years, as a player, ATP Player Council member, ATP Player Board member, as CEO of the International Region, Tournament Director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and most recently as the ATP Executive Chairman and President for the last 12 months.

Below is a sample of statements and social media posts made by players, media and governing bodies:

Players & Coaches
Roger Federer: Brad has become a good friend of mine over the years and this is very sad news for all of us at the ATP and the entire tennis community. He is well liked and respected by everyone and has done a tremendous job in leading the ATP over the past 12 months, overseeing some major initiatives and a record-breaking year in 2012. His dedication and service to the sport over the years has been truly admirable and he has been a central figure in helping to grow the ATP product across the globe. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.

Novak Djokovic: I've been saddened by the horrible news of Brad Drewett's health (the president of ATP). He is forced to fight a very tough disease and for that he has to leave the ATP office. I wish him all the best, and hope he can recover and win this battle. 

Rafael Nadal: This morning I woke up with one of those news you'd never want to hear. Our friend Brad will leave the ATP to fight a terrible disease. He will always have us on his side with our support. Go Brad, be strong, we love you!

@paul_annacone: So sorry to hear about my friend Brad Drewett, ATP Chief. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family- #perspective

@darren_cahill: Shattered by the news concerning ATP CEO Brad Drewett today. Good friend and a better person. Love and strength to Brad, Jo and kids.
 
@jojomelzer: Really hard to find the right words in this case. Wishing Brad all the strength he needs to battle this.all the best #liveisnotfairsometimes
 
@TipsarevicJanko: I have no word to express how sad are the news for the ATP and the Tennis world. My thoughts are with Brad himself and his family.

@mattebden: Sending much, love, support and prayers to you Brad Drewett @ATPWorldTour

@djmruss: Thoughts and prayers to ATP CEO Brad Drewett, recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease.
 
Stako_tennis: Terrible news come from @ATPWorldTour my prayers are with #Drewett for his recovery...
 
 
Media and Tennis Family
@dougrobson: Wishing the best to Brad Drewett in his transition period and the months ahead. Guy has given a lot to the sport.  #atp #tennis

@Barry_FlatmanST: Life is just not fair. Brad Drewett, ATP chief, diagnosed with Motor Neurone. Thoughts with him & his family
 
@dkaplanSBJ: Just horrific news that Brad Drewett has ALS. Wonderful and determined man.

@PatrickMcEnroe: Thoughts and prayers to Brad Drewett and his family.
 
@NeilHarmanTimes: Chatted with Brad Drewett on Saturday evening and we planned to have a coffee on site today. Still hope to see him later

@jon_wertheim: Brad Drewett's legacy on display in Melbourne.
 
@DavidLawTennis: Very sorry to learn that Brad Drewett, ATP boss, is suffering from Motor Neurone disease and stepping down. Really decent man.
 
@BenRothenberg: Terrible news about ATP chairman Brad Drewett-- ATP releases that he has ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's disease. Best wishes to him. #ausopen

Governing Bodies
Statement from ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti regarding Brad Drewett
Everyone in the ITF family is saddened to learn that Brad Drewett will step down from his position as ATP Chairman following his diagnosis with ALS. Some of us at the ITF have known Brad since he was a player; many others have known him in his various roles at the ATP and all of us like and respect him. We were very happy to support him when he worked through the ATP International Group and then the Tennis Masters Cup to help to open the great country of China to our sport which will always be noted as one of his outstanding achievements. For the ITF and for me personally, he is more than a colleague, he is a friend, and I want Brad to know we are available to do whatever is needed to help support him and his family. We send our thoughts and good wishes to Brad and his family and to everyone at the ATP during this difficult time.  

Grand Slam Tournaments
The Grand Slam tournaments are saddened to learn of Brad’s condition and everyone sends their prayers and any support needed to him and his family during this difficult period. Brad’s longstanding commitment to the Sport marks him as a true member of our tennis family and we wish him well in the fight ahead.
- Bill Babcock Director, Grand Slam Committee

Tennis Australia
It is with great sadness that we receive the news about Brad Drewett's illness. Brad's incredible contribution to the game in Australia and worldwide is obvious to all. For more than three decades he has been a much loved member of the Australian tennis family. All of our thoughts are very much with Brad and his family at this time. 
-        Steve Healy, Tennis Australia President
-        Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO

Statement from WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster
The thoughts and prayers of the WTA family are with Brad, his family and the entire ATP community at this very difficult time. We know he will fight this terrible disease every step of the way, and have our full support for whatever he needs.


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