In order to save the sport from the losses incurred during the Coronavirus outbreak, Swiss maestro Roger Federer came up with a radical proposal regarding the future of international tennis. The 20-time Grand Slam champion suggested a merger between men’s and women’s governing bodies. Federer feels the mergers of the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ‘probably should have happened’. Also Read - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Counting on Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford to Boost Manchester United's Season Run on Premier League Return
For the betterment of the sport, the 38-year-old believes this could be the right time for a merger between ATP and WTA. At the same time, Federer made it clear that he wasn’t recommending a change in the competition format. Also Read - Richa Chadha Opens up on Wedding Preparations With Ali Fazal, Says 'Will Take Call Only When Normalcy Returns'
“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 on his Twitter handle. Also Read - China's Missing 'Bat Woman' Appears on State TV; Says COVID-19 is Just 'Tip of The Iceberg'
“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,” the former world number one wrote further.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios was among the first Tennis professionals to react to Federer’s suggestions with an affirmative ‘yes’. Along with him, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Argentine Diego Schwartzman and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza are among the other high-profile tennis players to voice their agreement on social media.
The entire sporting calendar is reeling due to COVID-19 pandemic and tennis is not different. The season has been put on hold with multiple tournaments being postponed or cancelled.
The second slam of the year, French Open, has been postponed from May to September while the Wimbledon was cancelled earlier this month in the wake of the crisis. Wimbledon had only been cancelled twice before, because of World War 1 and World War 2.