While these positive changes were happening in Moscow, interesting changes were happening in the USA, too. The MTC was dispersed, and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) became the most important tennis organization for men besides the International Tennis Federation (ITF). In 1988, the ATP announced the establishment of the ATP Tour, to begin in 1990. Of the top 100 players in the world, 85 expressed their willingness to participate in what was to become one of the world’s most important line of tennis tournaments, and preparations began. One major decision was granting the licenses to hold tournaments on the ATP Tour. A meeting was convened to vote on the requests, one of which was ours, for Moscow. The members voted while we were biting our nails with anticipation. At the end, to our great delight, the license was granted.
Gene traveled to Moscow multiple times, and prepared all the necessary groundwork. He also brought some of his American staff to stay and work in Moscow.