Roger Federer on Wednesday suggested a merger between the WTA and ATP, the two governing bodies for women’s and men’s tennis respectively.
Voicing his opinion on Twitter, the 20-time Grand Slam wondered if it was the right time for the two organisations to be united as tennis deals with an extended sports shutdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“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 38-year-old tweeted, which kick-started comments and suggestions over the matter.
He then elaborated on his idea in subsequent replied to queries.
“I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the two governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours. It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories,” Federer explained.
The Association of Tennis Professionals in the body that oversees men’s tennis while the Women’s Tennis Association is in charge of the women. The WTA was founded in June 1973 by Billie Jean King as a response to the gender discrimination in tennis.
The 38-year-old Swiss, who is on the ATP Council along with fellow top players Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, added that this move should have happened a long time ago.
“These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with two weakened bodies or one stronger body,” he said in another tweet.
Clarification: The article only had an error in specifying Federer’s age. It has now been rectified.