Long-time Tennis Auckland tournament director Richard Palmer has resigned from his role with New Zealand's premier events.
Palmer has been with Tennis Auckland since 1988 and in his 14 years as a tournament director he has been the catalyst for the growth of the tournaments and their rising popularity including attracting world No 1 Maria Sharapova to the ASB Classic in 2011.
Tennis Auckland chair Alan Chester said Palmer can be very proud of his contribution.
"No one can underestimate the value that Richard has brought to these tournaments. Tennis Auckland is most appreciative of his support and enthusiasm in the 14 years he has been Tournament Director of the ASB Classic and, more latterly, the Heineken Open," Chester said.
"Richard's relationship with the players has been instrumental in the success of the tournaments, especially during the disruption caused by the redevelopment of the ASB Tennis Arena."
With the review of the 2012 tournaments now completed and planning for next year's events commencing, Palmer felt that now was the right time to go. He is looking forward to finding a new challenge and to having his first summer holiday in 15 years.
Richard has filled several roles at Tennis Auckland including a long stint as operations manager. Tennis Auckland is pleased that Palmer will continue to support the tournaments by being available to consult with on any aspect of the upcoming tournaments.
"It has been a great privilege for me to lead the international tournaments and develop them to their current levels. I've also enjoyed working for the grassroots of the sport at club level and working alongside a bunch of wonderful people at Tennis Auckland," Palmer said.
Tennis Auckland is currently assessing options for the future of the tournament director role.
The 2013 ASB Classic runs from December 31-January 5, and the Heineken Open from January 7-12.
- Fairfax Media