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ATP president Drewett dies, tributes flow

Published: 9:09AM Saturday May 04, 2013 Source: Reuters

Brad Drewett, executive chairman and president of the men's ATP Tour since 2012, died aged 54 today from motor neurone disease.

"Brad was an incredibly warm human being and a dedicated family man," said Drewett's WTA counterpart Stacey Allaster.

"He also was always an inspiring leader. Today, the entire tennis community mourns the loss of a great friend and colleague.

"Brad's contributions as a player and visionary leader make him one of the greatest in making tennis the popular, worldwide sport it is today. The recent prize money increases with the Grand Slams are perfect examples of Brad's brilliant strategic management, and another example of how much he cared about our athletes and the sport's long-term growth.

"His legacy as a leader, as a person and as a father who always put his family first will have an everlasting impact on tennis."

The Australian former professional, who reached a career-high ranking of 34, was appointed in January 2012, and helped oversee a rise in prize money at Grand Slam tournaments and a streamlining of the men's calendar.

Drewett announced in January that he intended to step down due to his battle with the neurological disease. He died at his home in Sydney.

Tributes poured in from players, past and present, at the news that Drewett had succumbed to his illness.

"Today is a very sad day for sport and tennis in particular. Our president Brad has passed away," 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal posted on his website.

Fellow Spaniard and former world No 1 Carlos Moya added: "Probably the best ATP president, the closest to the players and the one who has achieved the most for the players in the past 30 years."