it was recently reported that a merger between the ATP and WTA Tours is set to be discussed. Those talks are set to take place in London next month. It is clear the idea is still in its early stages, but the potential move would be a huge decision for tennis as a whole.
There has been very little reaction yet from players to the latest news. But there are four ATP players who have supported the idea in the past, including two of the greatest of all time.
Four ATP Players Who Have Supported ATP-WTA Merger
A Tennis Legend Supports and Starts the Debate
The previous discussion about a merger was sparked by retired tennis legend Roger Federer. This happened in April 2020, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The 20-time Grand Slam champion took to Twitter to give his thoughts on the issue. Federer said the following: “Just wondering….. am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one?”
The eight-time Wimbledon winner then sent an additional tweet to clarify his thoughts more precisely. It read: “I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the two governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours.”
The Swiss Maestro being in favour of the idea is interesting since his subsequent retirement. Could Federer help work behind the scenes to make a potential ATP-WTA merger happen? No longer dealing with the stresses of competing on court might make it possible. Having the most marketable player in tennis history actively pushing the idea may help many sceptics to accept it.
Three ATP Players Who Agreed With Federer
Fellow legend and long-time rival to Federer on-court Rafael Nadal agreed with his friend’s views. The 22-time Grand Slam champion responded with the following: “Hey Roger Federer as you know per our discussions I completely agree that it would be great to get out of this world crisis with the union of men’s and women’s tennis in one only organisation.”
Federer and Nadal have a close relationship off the court. Their previously aligned views makes cooperation to try and support a merger in light of the recent news a possibility. Nadal is of course not yet retired. But he will undoubtedly want tennis to be left in a positive condition when he does hang up his racket.
Nick Kyrgios also backed Federer’s words about an ATP-WTA merger. The Wimbledon runner-up is an interesting case. In 2020, he made clear he endorsed the concept of a merger. Yet the Australian was one of the very few to comment on the more recent merger talks. The 28-year-old did not give clear support on this occasion, instead enquiring: “Does that mean we merge the draws?????” Kyrgios did not say he opposed the move, and it is unclear if his tweet was simply tongue in cheek. It seems obvious that men’s and women’s singles draws would not be merged in any potential merging of Organizations.
Diego Schwartzman was the other ATP player to indicate his approval of the idea. The Argentine did not tweet any words, but sent a series of emojis clearly demonstrating support. Schwartzman has yet to say anything about the latest news, and is having a difficult year on the court in terms of results. But as of 2020, his position on an ATP-WTA merger was clear.
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