ITFWorld Autumn 2013

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Welcome AUTUMN 2013 on to the finale W e are nearly three quarters of the way through our Centenary year and the stage is being set for the big events that close each season including the finals of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. The last Grand Slam tournament of the year, the US Open, is over with congratulations for Rafael Nadal who won his 13th Grand Slam title and Serena Williams her 17th. Following the successful Davis Cup semifinal and play-off round, we now know that Serbia behind world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will host in Belgrade the defending champions from Czech Republic led by world No. 5 Tomas Berdych and reigning US Open doubles champion Radek Stepanek. Players are competing in the final big events of the year to secure their places in the year-end tour championships and we are already looking ahead to 2014 as the draws for both Davis Cup and Fed Cup are set. This year has been an interesting one so far, on court and off, and shows promise for lots of drama as 2013 draws to a close. Wearing my Olympics hat, it has been an unusually busy time. As a member of the Coordination Commission for Rio 2016, we visited the city in early September and have some concerns about the progress since our last visit. Tennis will have a beautiful new complex, right in the heart of the main Olympic Park, that will be a legacy for 2 ITFWORLD AUTUMN 2013 Francesco Ricci Bitti takes part in the draw for the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, watched by ITF Rules and Regulations Officer Stefan Fransson and Ludovic de Montille, UK Chairman of BNP Paribas Group Brazilian tennis, but work has not as yet commenced on our venue or on any others in the Park and this is being addressed by the IOC. In this issue of ITFWorld, I am interviewed by journalist Sebastian Fest about my role as President of ASOIF, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. It was in this role that I travelled to Buenos Aires for the IOC Session that elected Thomas Bach as the new President and selected Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling was quite rightly returned to the Olympic programme for 2016. There is a debate in the Olympic movement about the programme and how this affects new sports joining the Games. For the first time in a long time, I was in New York for the first week of the US Open and had the opportunity to attend the celebration hosted by the ATP in honour of their No. 1 players. It was a wonderful evening that gave all of us the chance to catch up with many friends from the tennis family but also bittersweet because their chairman and CEO Brad Drewett had not lived to see the result of the Heritage Project that he held so dear. It was very impressive to see 16 No. 1s on the stage. I am sure each of them treasured this chance to spend some time together. Besides Rafa and Serena, the US Open champions were Leander Paes of India and Stepanek in the men's doubles, Czechs Andrea Hlavackova

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