Roger Federer Suggests Merging Men’s and Women’s Tennis Tours: 'Now Is Really the Time'
"It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories," Roger Federer wrote on Twitter
Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer is calling for an end to the division between men and women in the professional tennis world.
On Wednesday, the 38-year-old tweeted, “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?”
Currently, women’s professional tennis is governed by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which was founded by Billie Jean King in 1973. Men’s tennis is lead by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which was founded in 1968.
Federer clarified his ask in another Tweet, writing, “I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the 2 governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours….”
He also responded to a fan who argued the division added more hoops to jump through while watching tennis on TV, writing, “I agree with you, It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories.”
“It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time,” he also wrote of linking the governing bodies. ” These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body.”
Numerous other tennis stars seem to be onboard, with Nick Krygios responding, simply, “yes.” Simona Halep echoed his support, tweeting, “You are not the only one.”
Added tennis legend King, “I agree, and have been saying so since the early 1970s. One voice, women and men together, has long been my vision for tennis.”
“The WTA on its own was always Plan B,” she elaborated. “I’m glad we are on the same page. Let’s make it happen.”
Another champion of Federer’s suggestion? Fellow Grand Slam superstar Rafael Nadal, who said: “Hey @rogerfederer as you know per our discussions I completely agree that it would be great to get out of this world crisis with the union of men’s and women’s tennis in one only organisation Tennis ball.”
Professional tennis is currently one of numerous pro sports leagues with seasons at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous Grand Slam tournaments have been canceled, including Wimbledon.