Johanna Konta backs ATP-WTA ‘merger of equals’ as ‘it makes sense for it to be one tour’

Johanna Konta

British No 1 Johanna Konta has thrown her support behind a merger of the ATP and WTA tours, but insists there has to be equality.

The possibility of a merger between the tours hit the headlines in April when 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer tweeted that it is time for “men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one”.

The majority of role players backed the idea, although one or two questions were raised about how a united tour would work.

WTA Tour chief Steve Simon also admitted that financial parity is unlikely to be part of any initial agreement, saying he “thinks it’s a long-term goal”.

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

Konta, who sits on the WTA Player Council, says it is important that there is equality from the word go.

“For me, for my comprehension, I don’t understand how it wouldn’t be of equals because if we are then talking about that, would it be us literally saying we are worth less than our male counterparts?” she said.

“It would have to be a merger of equals because that’s what we are. I wouldn’t see how right now in today’s age it would be allowed to be called anything else.”

Although Federer was the one who brought the issue into the spotlight in recent weeks, Konta is aware that the idea has been on the table for a while, but says it is up to “the people in suits” to take it further.

“Billie Jean King beat him to that a long time ago. So I think it is something that has been something talked about for a long time but having Roger vocalise it drew attention to it,” she continued.

“I definitely think in the long run it makes sense for it to be one tour, it makes logical sense but I also know there are a lot of moving parts to it, and I know there will be a lot of people who won’t want it to happen, but also a lot of people who do want it to happen.

“I think there is a long way between saying this is what should happen and this is what will happen. I am definitely for it and think it makes sense, I guess we will have to see what the people in suits are able to come up with.”

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