Roger Federer’s surprise suggestion that the governing bodies who have been separately running men’s and women’s tennis for decades should merge in the wake of the global health crisis, has been backed by Chiefs of ATP and WTA. On Wednesday, Federer proposed the merger to steer the game through the lengthy Coronavirus shutdown with lower-level professionals in deep financial crisis.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO said, "I have long stated that we are at our best as a sport when we can work together, and the recent weeks have highlighted that fact.”
On the other hand, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said that unifying the sport was the only way forward and would create bigger opportunities. He added that he welcomed the view and that the authorities looked forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to work on it.
The Swiss called for a merger of the men's and women's professional tour, stating that the difference in rankings, logos and various other aspects between the two are confusing. Federer garnered a lot of praise from fans and other players for his suggestion.
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?— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 22, 2020
“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? It probably should have happened a long time ago. But maybe now is really the time.”
Responding to a fan's reply, Federer said that different ranking systems, logos, websites, and tournament categories were confusing and that the merger should have happened a long time ago. Federer ended by saying that instead of returning with two weakened sporting bodies, one strong body can emerge from Coronavirus.
Many tennis players took to Twitter to support Roger Federer’s idea.
Hey @rogerfederer 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 🎾👍🏻 https://t.co/fTCfvMiU4G— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) April 22, 2020
You are not the only one 😊— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) April 22, 2020