By Frank Pingue
NEWYORK (Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic said on Saturday he read the victim statements involving former ATP board member Justin Gimelstob, who pleaded no contest to assault in April, and that the American has work in his private life that needs addressing.
Djokovic, who serves as president of the ATP Player Council, promised had said during a heated news conference at Wimbledon he would go through the report and in his pre-U.S. Open meeting with media was asked to comment on the documents.
“He (Gimelstob) has taken the responsibility for his actions and what has happened that night,” Djokovic, who will begin his U.S. Open title defence on Monday, told reporters.
“So he went back to deal with this himself. Obviously there is a lot of work in his private life that needs addressing.”
Former player Gimelstob, who won the Australian and French Open mixed doubles titles in 1998, was arrested last November for an attack on Oct. 31 in Los Angeles on Randall Kaplan, who is a friend of Gimelstob’s ex-wife Cary Sinnott.
Gimelstob pleaded “no contest” to a felony battery charge in April that was reduced to a misdemeanour and was sentenced to three years probation and 60 days of community labour and ordered to complete 52 weeks of anger management instruction.
The American stepped down from his position on the ATP board in May, saying at the time he had become too much of a distraction and a liability.
“He’s going to try to handle this matter in best possible way. I really wish him all the best,” said Djokovic.
“It’s unfortunate that that has happened. Because I think he was a great asset, as I was mentioning in Wimbledon and before, for the players.
“But he has taken the responsibility. I have read what you wanted me to read in Wimbledon, and that’s all there is to it. I have no further comments for you.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Ed Osmond)