(Florida Times Union Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) When Todd Martin was approached three months ago about taking over as CEO at the Tennis Hall of Fame, it didn't take long for the Ponte Vedra Beach resident to warm up to the idea of trading in tennis shorts for a coat and tie.
During his 14-year career on the ATP Tour, Martin served two terms as president of the Players Council and was on the USTA Board of Directors after retiring in 2004.
So becoming CEO-designate at the Hall of Fame Tuesday in Newport, R.I. - a position Martin will assume in April and take over on permanent basis in September - should be a seamless transition for the longtime U.S. Davis Cup player.
"Being pursued for this job struck me by surprise in some ways, but I had great interest because I've always enjoyed the administrative side of [tennis]," Martin said. "Once the notion was brought to me, it made greater and greater sense and was more appealing.
"Playing the game is one thing, working in service to the game is another. I don't know if I can compare it. My attire will be significantly different."
Martin, 43, succeeds Mark L. Stenning, who has been affiliated with the Hall of Fame for 35 years and served as CEO since 2000. Martin will be a CEO-in waiting for five months until Stenning officially steps down in September.
Since his retirement from playing, Martin has served as a part- time coach for Tour players and operated his own tennis academy, developing young players at Sawgrass Country Club and at The Bolles School.
His new job means a move from Ponte Vedra Beach, where Martin has lived since 1996, to Newport in the coming weeks. His wife, Amy, and three children (ages 5 to 11) will join him after the school year.
"We'll be near the ocean there, too," Martin said. "It's a big change for me and my family, but there aren't that many great adventures that come around. This was something definitely worth leaving for."
Martin's duties, in addition to overseeing a staff of 35 employees, involve operating the Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as serving as director for the annual Hall of Fame tournament played immediately after Wimbledon.
While Martin has long aspired to become a U.S. Davis Cup captain, he intends to focus all his energy on the Hall of Fame.
"It's something I won't worry about until it's something to worry about," Martin said. "I don't suppose the opportunity [to become a Davis Cup captain] will come up for quite some time."
Martin, a 1999 U.S. Open runner-up and 1994 Australian Open runner-up, was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and remained a consistent top-20 player for most of the 1990s. He won eight ATP singles titles and five doubles titles.Gene Frenette: (904) 359- 4540
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