Andy Murray is the latest big-name player to throw his weight behind calls for a merger between the ATP and WTA, saying more players are starting to see the benefits.
Swiss great Roger Federer got the ball rolling in April when he took to Twitter to ask “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?”
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has received a lot of support with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Billie Jean King all backing the idea.
The legendary King, of course, has always been on the forefront of fighting for equality and during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, three-time Grand Slam winner Murray paid tribute to American great King and expressed his backing for a joint Tour.
“This is something that Billie Jean has been wanting to happen for 40 to 50 years,” he told Amanpour. “She’s the one that really had the vision for all of this, so we need to remember that. I think it’s great if more of the male players are seeing it as a positive step for the sport.
He added: “When you have a lot of the top male players now starting to discuss and talk about it, that’s definitely very promising.
“When these discussions happen it’s quite important not just to see this merger through a man’s eyes and to bring more women into the decision-making positions so that everyone’s voice gets heard.”
King admits there are still a few things that need to be worked out, but says there is no concerns that the WTA will be the big loser should the merger goes ahead.
“I did have a chance to talk with Roger and he said the reason he even thought about this is because he finally had some space and time to reflect and think about the sport,” King said. “We have to stay together as a sport.”
She added: “The WTA would not be an acquisition. We’d be a full partner in this drive to make our sport better and more valuable.
“We are much stronger, as Andy said, if we’re together. We’re not competing within our sport like a lot of tennis people think. Our job is to be together so we can compete against other entertainment and sports.”
Milos Raonic on the Adria Tour debacle.
Mouratoglou raises questions about hosting US Open.
Plenty of positives for Andy Murray.
Kevin Palmer on Roger Federer’s SW19 breakthrough.
The fallout from the controversial Adria Tour continues.
Where to get your Wimbledon fix this year.
Nemanja Matic firmly in Novak Djokovic’s corner.
No holding back from Nick Kyrgios.
Lewis discusses Wimbledon prospects.
German breaks self-isolation vow.