Darren Cahill, the coach of two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep, has backed calls for radical changes to tennis, saying an ATP-WTA merger would make things easier for everyone involved in the sport.
Roger Federer earlier this week took to Twitter to call for the men’s ATP Tour to merge with women’s WTA Tour, saying now is the time “to be united and come together as one”.
It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time.
These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body. https://t.co/30SbbAla5g
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 22, 2020
The majority of the tennis community backed his suggestion with the likes of Halep, Rafael Nadal, Billie Jean King and Judy Murray all giving it the thumbs up.
Former ATP top 25 player Cahill, who has coached the likes of Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt in the past, has thrown his weight behind the idea.
“This leads us more towards a commissioner in tennis,” he told The National.
“Let’s say hypothetically the four Slams remain as they are, but then you have the ATP, the WTA and the ITF all rolled into one, and that means you can appoint a commissioner of tennis that oversees the men’s and women’s tours, Fed Cup, Davis Cup, the Olympics and also the smaller events that are under the ITF and also under the WTA. That person and that organisation would have enormous power.
“And I think, hypothetically, it would be a pretty good position for a tennis player to be in, because you know that every single decision being made is made in the best interest of the game.”
Cahill believes the current tennis structures are complicated and says a merger would make it easier for fans to understand.
“At the moment, as a fan of tennis, if you want to try to follow tennis, whether it’s Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the WTA, the ATP, smaller events, there are so many different platforms a fan has to subscribe to and it’s confusing,” he said.
“Social media becomes much easier as well, if the tours are merged. Instead of competing against each other for a social media space, that becomes all one.
“One set of rules; at the moment there are different rules on the WTA tour compared to the ATP tour, one set of rankings as well, which would make everything much easier to understand.
“Even for us that live on the WTA Tour, it’s not easy to understand how the Tour works, whereas the men’s Tour is much easier. We know your 1000s, the 500s, the 250s and how the rankings work, it’s much more complicated on the women’s tour, so this would simplify everything.”
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