With Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since the second world-war and the prospect of any professional tennis still some way off, Roger Federer has called for the merger of the ATP and WTA governing bodies.
Speaking on Twitter, Federer said “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?”
Regarding the merger, Federer also added that it “probably should have happened” already, but that Tennis officials now faced two options. “We can come out of this with two weakened bodies or one stronger body,” he said.
A plethora of Tennis stars have flocked to support the 20 time Grand-Slam champion, including long-time rival Rafael Nadal- who responded “It would be great to get out of this world crisis with the union of men’s and women’s tennis in only one organisation.”
A number of female players are also in favour of the idea, with world number-one Simona Halep replying to Federer’s tweet with “You are not the only one.”
It appears that both chairmen of the WTA and ATP respectively are open to negotiations regarding the merger. Andrea Guadenzi of the ATP told BBC that Tennis has a huge opportunity if “we can come together in the spirit of collaboration and unity.” Steve Simon of the WTA seemed to echo this feeling- affirming that “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.”
Despite widespread support for an ATP and WTA merger, not everyone is happy with such an idea. Nick Kyrgios tweeted his disdain by saying “Did anyone ask the majority of the ATP what they think about merging with the WTA and how it is good for us?" The controversial Australian star also tweeted “We shouldn’t merge” but failed to add any clarification as to why.
It is understood that preliminary discussions have taken place about more collaboration between the governing bodies.
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