The recent ATP-WTA merger idea floated by some tennis stars is a great move as per two former players in the form of Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny. While they certainly called the idea interesting, it was accompanied by some scathing criticism of women’s tennis.
According to the Russian duo, the move would certainly be a great boost for women’s tennis. However, they were uncertain about the impact it might have on the men’s game. This perhaps implied that it would be a one-way street that would prove good for the WTA.
Their opinions were reflective of a condescending view of the female game. In fact, some pieces of the conversation might even offend the top female tennis stars. Let’s find out what Safin and Youzhny discussed on their Instagram Live.
Marat Safin opined that this was a great move to market the tennis spectacle in a better manner. However, he made a controversial statement after this. He believes that women’s tennis wouldn’t sell as a standalone product if not for players the likes of Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams.
That was not all. Mikhail Youzhny went a step further in saying the WTA players were not really recognizable for him. In fact, he criticized their consistency by saying that while he could identify them individually, he did not know what was happening in terms of rankings, despite being a follower.
“I work in tennis and I can’t name WTA’s Top 10. I probably know those players but I couldn’t tell if they are ranked Top 10 or not.”
There is no problem with criticizing the fact that there is a lack of consistency in women’s tennis. However, the choice of words could’ve been a little better. There are amazing women competing on the WTA circuit and their hard work is made a mockery of with such comments.