By Tom Degun

Brad Drewett 2May 5 - The world's top tennis superstars Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have led a minute's silence at the Mutua Madrid Open in memory of Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) executive chairman and President Brad Drewett.

Drewett passed away on Friday (May 3) at the age of 54 at his home in Sydney after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in January this year.

The "Big Four" of Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal were joined by many ATP and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) players who took to the Manolo Santana court at the Caja Magica to pay their respects before the first-round match between Fernando Verdasco and David Goffin.

The tribute came after Drewett was also honoured with a moment at the BMW Open in Munich and the Portugal Open in Oeiras earlier in the weekend.

"It's devastating news for not just us tennis players, but the tennis world," said world number one Djokovic.

"He was a very brave man with the courage to stand up and try to change some things in our sport for the better.

"We remember him as a very calm, composed and intelligent man, who loved this sport with all his heart, while he was playing, coaching and then as the President of ATP."

Brad Drewett memorial at scoreboard Madrid May 5 2013Brad Drewett's image was flashed on the scoreboard at the Mutua Madrid Open

Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion, was equally full of praise.

"Obviously Brad wasn't just the President of the ATP but was a player himself, a Board member," said Federer.

"He's given so much time and effort to the ATP, and I think this is really what we will try to honour in a small way."

London 2012 Olympic champion Murray expressed his shock at the death.

"I think it was a shock for everyone," said Murray.

"We heard the bad news in Australia with his diagnosis.

"It's sad obviously for the whole of the tour to have to see that, but hopefully he's in a better place now."
Brad DrewettBrad Drewett passed away two days ago following at battle with motor neurone disease

Nadal the 11-time Grand Slam champion, echoed the praise.

"The only thing we can do is say thank you for everything he has done for our sport, all the support, and all the good things he has done these years to help us and to help us to have a better sport," said Nadal.

"I just give all my support from here to his family and all his beloved and close friends.

"I think he was a very loved person inside our circuit.

"It's a sad moment for all of us."

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