On Wednesday, Roger Federer has raised the prospect of merging men and women professional tennis tours. The 20-time Grand Slam champion began a string of posts on Twitter by saying that the shutdown of tennis because of the coronavirus outbreak has given the sport an ideal opportunity to assess its future.
“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?” Federer wrote and given the reply on the social media platform.
The professional era of tennis started in 1968, and the ATP was founded in 1972 and has run the men’s game. The WTA was founded by Billie Jean King in 1973, integrating the women’s professional game into one tour.
Federer said he was “not talking about merging competition on the court” but rather the two governing bodies.
Federer wrote as a reply: “It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories.”
Federer said the merger “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.”
Companion player Nick Kyrgios replied to Federer’s idea only in one word: “Yes.”
Former WTA chief executive Anne Worcester called for a merger of the men’s and women’s tours in an interview with Forbes this month. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, untill at least mid of July all the professional tennis has been suspended.
He has tweeted videos of him practicing during the pandemic. The 38-year-old Federer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February before all sports action was suspended around the world.