There are rumblings in German tennis, that became clear at the general meeting of the German Tennis Federation (DTB) on Sunday. It was only in the third round of voting that Dietloff von Arnim, president of the world's largest tennis association since 2021, was re-elected. "That's a reminder, we have to deal with it," the 63-year-old told the F.A.Z. on Monday. "We need to communicate even more intensively with each individual national association. If we send out a message and it doesn't get through, we have to question ourselves."
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In the first two rounds of voting, von Arnim had fallen short of a majority. His opponent Robert Hampe, president of the Westphalian Tennis Association, received 40.8 percent of the votes. The meeting was then adjourned. Before the third round of voting, Hampe withdrew his candidacy, von Arnim received 89.9 percent of the vote.
Hampe was also elected to the DTB Executive Committee as one of five vice-presidents for a four-year term. "I am sure that we will work together in a solution-oriented manner," said von Arnim. "It has arrived that there must be a different wind blowing in the DTB," Hampe told the F.A.Z. on Monday.
"Sound finances" as a goal
The dissatisfaction among some of the delegates seems to concern different aspects. Above all, mistakes of the previous association leadership in dealing with the case of the now deceased former DTB vice president Dirk Hordorff, who was accused of abuse of power and sexual misconduct, were criticized.
The unsatisfactory situation in competitive sports, where no German player is currently among the top 50 in the world rankings in the women's competition, was also discussed. Despite growing membership numbers over the past three years, the financial situation in the association is also tense.
Von Arnim, who had already suffered a crushing defeat in the election as president of the ITF in September, has now set himself the priority task for his second term of office "to achieve solid finances and to continue to promote competitive sport and digitalisation". In order to be able to finance measures, one must be more successful in the future, especially "in the areas of sales and sponsoring", he says.
An increase in membership fees for members has also been decided. In the Hordorff case, the independent reappraisal commission initiated in April had presented an interim report the day before the election, the conclusion of which is aimed for mid-2024. For the past six months, a working group on competitive sports has also been working on proposals to improve support in the association. "However, we will not be able to reap the rewards in the short term," said von Arnim.