After the pandemic struck the world early this year, Roger Federer tweeted about merging the governing bodies of men’s and women’s tennis. The Swiss Maestro’s suggestion came under the backdrop of fighting the global crisis by uniting together. In fact, Federer’s tweetstorm received widespread support from arch-rival Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, and the iconic Billie Jean King.
Federer elaborated on his idea by saying that he didn’t mean merging the competition on the court, but merging the two governing bodies that oversee professional tours. He backed his argument by contending that different rankings systems, different logos, and different tournament categories made it confusing for the fans.
Head of German women’s tennis, Barbara Rittner, became the latest member to support Federer. Recently, during an interview with Tennis Magazin, Rittner admitted to needing solidarity among the tennis’ governing bodies – the ITF, the ATP & the WTA Tours.
“From my point of view, it would make sense if the ATP, WTA, ITF, and the Grand Slams sit under one roof. At the moment everyone is cooking their own thing,” said Rittner.
Being a former tennis player herself, Rittner stressed the importance of the need for women’s tennis stars to play a pivotal role in raising their voice for the ATP-WTA merger akin to their male counterparts. She gave precedence to the way the Big-3 communicated to help their lower-ranking colleagues during the crisis.
“With the women, we have few personalities in this area. Especially seasoned players like Simona Halep and Ashleigh Barty from Australia have to communicate louder. Angelique Kerber would also be heard for sure.” said Rittner.
(Quotes have been translated using Google)
Having won the 1991 Wimbledon Championships as a junior, Rittner achieved a career-high ranking of No.24 in the year 1993. As a professional, Rittner’s best performance was reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open and Roland Garros.