“Clearly Is the Right Thing To Do”: WTA Chief Backs Roger Federer’s Tour Unification Idea

Published 12/08/2020, 6:21 AM EST
Roger Federer (SUI) during the French Open Tennis at Stade Roland-Garros, Paris. (Credit: Jon Bromley | MI News) (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


The principal bodies for male tennis players and female tennis players are different. The ATP and the WTA have now existed separately for close to 50 years, but now, many have called for a merger of the two bodies. Roger Federer started the conversation and has gotten the seal of approval from various players like Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and others.

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Roger Federer sprang this ATP-WTA union conversation during the pandemic break back in April. The 20-time Grand Slam champ tweeted calling for a unity of men’s and women’s tennis.

Roger Federer tweets on the unification of ATP and WTA

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Federer wrote, “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?”

In a recent interview with Tennis Majors, the WTA CEO Steve Simon appreciated this tweet from Roger Federer. He also called for the continued push towards the union. He said:

“But I think the more that we do it and the more we keep pushing that direction, it clearly is the right thing to do. [Federer’s tweet] created conversation. I think that’s the best way that you can describe it and where it went.”

Steve Simon also said that from the women’s side, everybody would be happy with a merger. The Williams sisters and the WTA Players Council also share a similar approach to the ATP-WTA union.

“If you talked to Serena (Williams) or Venus (Williams) or any of them, you would hear some similar comments and our Player Council would love to see us working together, too,” Simon said.

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The WTA logo. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Simon reckons ATP and WTA can work together strongly. But he is also aware of various hurdles that challenge the prospect of a merger and said, “So I think it’s something that I certainly believe in, us working strongly together. There’s obviously challenges and a lot of business issues that make it challenging at times to get it across.”

There are a lot of logistical and business challenges to the merger. But the merger would also be a united platform for the players, tournaments, and fans. It is a long shot and it will take a few years for the conversation to turn into a proper idea.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1079 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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