Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker gave a thumbs up to the unification of men and women’s tennis tour. Roger Federer floated the idea a while ago via Twitter. Right now, ATP and WTA work as two different organizations.
If the two tracks run under a single name, the prize money given the men and women in different tournaments might become equal. Consequently, the winnings given to the men right now might take a considerable tumble.
“Roger Federer started the ball rolling with his splendid idea of joining forces and I think Nadal agrees. Not every top guy agrees that’s fine, but I think Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have a strong following. For Federer to suggest that, speaks for his intelligence and also that he truly cares about the game,” Boris Becker told Laureas.com
The Grand Slams have been offering equal prize money to both men and women since Wimbledon 2007, but in other events, the concept of prize money inequality is still persisting.
“Think of the equal prize money we have in the majors. Men and women earn the same which I don’t think is happening in every sport. We are always progressive about going with the times, with equal rights, certainly on the tennis court,” he continued.
Presently, most top players are in favor of merging the tours. However, a few players have questioned the consequences of the merger. For instance, Nick Kyrgios seemed to be unconvinced and wasn’t in agreement with the World Number four Roger Federer.
Becker also suggested hosting all the Masters tournaments for the ladies as well. At the moment, there are several Masters tournaments that are exclusively for the men.
“So a joint organization would be the next step. It’s a big step. He suggested maybe having joint tournaments. We already have a few. In the US in Miami, you have men and women participating around the same time.”
But, on a practical note, hosting all the Masters tournaments for both men and women is not a viable option. First of all, in the women’s game, the tickets do not sell as much as men’s, so it would affect the tournament’s revenue.
“The other ones, talking about the Masters series, are not there yet, but obviously would, in my opinion, be a step in the right direction. Once we get out of the tunnel, the new normal will be different. We still lie in a position to control the future if we get together and work together,” said Becker.
Also, not all organizers have the facility to host men and women’s events simultaneously. Even if they host it on two separate occasions, the tight calendars of tennis players will not permit additional tournaments in their schedule.