Bill Babcock, right, is to retire from his position as director of the Grand Slam Board at the end of 2020 ©Getty Images

Bill Babcock, the director of the Board which represents all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, is retiring at the end of this year.

Babcock has held the position at the Grand Slam Board, comprising the chairs of the four major tournaments, their chief executives and the President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), since its formation in 1989.

The Board said a successor to Babcock would be named in due course.

Babcock, based in London, helped with creating a Grand Slam rulebook, an independent officiating body and the old Grand Slam Cup – a tournament which ran from 1990 to 1999 before it was folded into the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour Finals.

He was also "instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the sport-wide Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme and its Tennis Integrity Unit", the Board said.

Bill Babcock has been the director of the Grand Slam Board since its inception in 1989 ©Getty Images
Bill Babcock has been the director of the Grand Slam Board since its inception in 1989 ©Getty Images

"Working with the Grand Slam tournaments and the ITF over the past 30 years has been a privilege and an honour," said Babcock. 

"I recognise the enormous contributions to tennis that have been made and continue to be made by the Grand Slam tournaments, the ITF and the rest of the tennis family. 

"The opportunity to have shared a part of that effort is humbling. 

"Much of the success that I have had is due to the wisdom, friendship and support of the innumerable Grand Slam chairs, Grand Slam executives and ITF Presidents over the years, as well as my countless friends and colleagues in the tennis family. 

"Thank you all for this wonderful ride."

This year's Grand Slam season has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with only the Australian Open taking place as scheduled so far.

Wimbledon was cancelled, while the French Open has been rearranged after being postponed from its planned slot.

The US Open is due to begin later this month but question marks remain over the tournament being held and a number of the top players have withdrawn due to fears over the COVID-19 virus.