DTB sees signals for out-of-court settlement in ATP dispute

germanLondon - The German tennis federation DTB has new hope to reach an out-of-court settlement with the men's tennis body ATP about the future of the Hamburg Masters, DTB boss Georg van Waldenfels said on Wednesday.

Von Waldenfels told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa he met over two days with the newly-formed ATP leadership ahead of a court hearing in Delaware set for July 21.

Citing a long-term contract, the DTB is suing the ATP which wants to scrap the Hamburg Masters in a new 2009 calendar. The ATP says it can make changes as part a complete tournament calendar overhaul.

"We want to look into every chance for a settlement," said von Waldenfels.

ATP boss Etienne de Villiers, the mastermind of the proposed changes, has come under fire over the issue, and his contract renewal beyond the end of the year appears under serious threat.

His positions seems to be weakened through personnel changes in the board of directors and the opposition of players was manifested when the world's leading trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was elected into the Player Council.

The players reportedly want to continue playing in Hamburg and are also concerned that the ATP has already spent seven million dollars on the case.

The ATP allegedly faces bankruptcy if it loses the case which is allegedly worth 50 million dollars. (dpa)

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