‘It’s a long-term goal’ – WTA chief not expecting financial equality to be immediate result of WTA/ATP merger

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WTA Chief Steve Simon has thrown his backing behind the idea of a merger with the ATP, but admits women’s tennis may still have to wait for financial inequality even if it happens.

Rumours, started by Roger Federer, have persisted that talks may taking place to merge tennis’ two governing bodies, raising hopes that the financial gap between men and women may close as a result.

However, while WTA supremo Simon sees the benefits of a merger, he does not believe financial parity will be part of any initial agreement.

“You certainly can’t go in with those expectations that (financial equality) is immediately there,” Simon told the Telegraph. “I think it’s a long-term goal.

“But I think that, by coming together, we are presenting the sport in a way that our fans and our partners and the marketplace will embrace.

“Also, if we were able to get to that stage (of a single merged body), you’d still have a men’s calendar, you’d still have a women’s calendar, you’d still have combined events.

“Not every facility can accommodate a combined field. But over time, if you’re one organisation, you have a lot better chance to resolve.”

“[A merger] would keep us from competing against each other, everybody loses with that.

“A merger is a long and winding road. But you would like to think that everybody should be treated equal.”

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