Federer, Godsick, leave IMG

News broke shortly before Roger Federer took on Nicholas Mahut in the third round of Roland Garros Friday afternoon in Paris. Federer and agent Tony Godsick are leaving management company IMG. In fact, contracts with both the Swiss star and Godsick ran out, IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher said in a telephone interview.

“Our contract with Roger Federer has expired and we no longer represent him,” Gallagher said. “Roger is an iconic figure in the world of sports. A gentleman and a great champion, and we hope to work with him again in the future.” Gallagher said IMG wished Godsick “great success in the future.”

Currently in Paris to accompany Federer, Godsick said in an interview that his time with IMG was up.

“I left IMG last night, my contract ran out and I took the decision not to do a new contract, Godsick said. “That’s it.” However, he wouldn’t say if Federer, his only client, was also leaving the company.

“I don’t want to talk about that,” Godsick said. His departure comes about a year after Tiger Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg, left New York-based IMG and joined Excel Sports Management. Woods remained with Steinberg.

The 30-year-old Federer could not immediately be reached to comment on whether he’d remain with Godsick, but after his third round match, Federer said he was currently without an agent and that it was possible he would sign on again with IMG, but he declined to elaborate.

“I’ll have to see what happens, but never say never,” he said. “Who knows what happens the next few weeks, months, and years.”

Godsick added, I’m going to look at my options and I hope to have an opportunity to talk to [Federer] and continue to work with him in the future.”

The Swiss star was signed by IMG as a junior player in 1998. He quit the agency in 2003 before he won any grand slams, and rejoined in 2005. During the time while he was not with IMG, he gave his business matters to Roger Federer Management: an attorney, a financial adviser, and his mother, Lynette Federer. His girlfriend (now his wife) at the time, Mirka, was in charge of media relations and travel.

Doug Robson of USA Today reported on Twitter (link to tweet) that Tony Godsick told him he wants a change after 19 years at IMG, and that he is not representing Federer now. He hopes to do so in the future but that remains to be determined. Godsick also said he will discuss with Federer after Roland Garros to see if they will partner up again. Robson closed up his tweet by saying, “A bit cagey on background/circumstances or if there is waiting period.”

Sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal blogs.

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