Israel tennis looks for a new leader

By Simon Griver, July 22, 2010

The Israel Tennis Centre (ITC) is looking for a new CEO after Janine Strauss stepped down.

Dani Gali, who is head of the tournaments department, has been appointed temporary CEO until a permanent appointment is made. One of Gali's first actions was to meet Dudi Sela, Harel Levy and Andy Ram to repair the rift between the players and the ITC.

Sela, who has been highly critical of ITC's programmes, said after the meeting that he felt that the players' views "are finally being heard".

Maariv reported that Israeli accounting firm Ernst & Young has been hired by the ITC to conduct a thorough internal audit following "rumours about the organisation's financial problems and management". But while a source at the ITC confirmed that Ernst & Young has been brought in, they insisted that the accounting firm has only been hired as a financial and business consultant and not to conduct an audit.

Sources at ITC stress that South African-born Strauss leaves her position after nine years with the gratitude of the board of directors.

Strauss, a former player who represented Israel in the Federation Cup, was awarded the Knesset Prize for lifetime achievement for Israeli tennis earlier this month.

With major donations from the Diaspora, Strauss oversaw the expansion of ITC to 15 centres around the country and 13,000 children currently training in programmes for both the disadvantaged and talented young players. She also reintroduced the Israel Open men's tournament for top professionals at Ramat Hasharon with prize money of $100,000.

Shahar Peer has been left stunned after coach Pablo Giacopelli ended their two-year partnership. Under the Argentine, Peer climbed to a record ranking of 14. Giacopelli said he was leaving for "personal reasons". Giacopelli got married last month and it is believed that he wants to devote more time to his wife.

Peer is currently in North America where she will play in warm up tournaments in preparation for next month's US Open.

‚óŹ Greg Rack has been named Chairman for Team GB at next summer's European Maccabi Games in Vienna.

Last updated: 12:26pm, July 22 2010