Roger Federer tweeted recently that he thinks this is the best time to merge the ATP and WTA as one single association for international tennis.
Rafael Nadal quickly followed up and supported him. Seemed like a planned move by the both of them to start the debate, ‘as per their discussions’.
Vasek Pospisil, an important figure in the ATP player council, tweeted that it’s been a suggestion since January of this year. Therefore it was done so prior to AO 2020.
A Combined Effort
How would such a collaboration work? At the core ATP and WTA each employ a distinct point system for their events. The prize money offered is different too, save for the Grand Slams where it is the same. I’m guessing all that will go out the window and one system would be implemented.
At the outset it all seems like the logical step to take. As all worldwide sport is at a standstill, once things start normalizing and play is opened up, coming back together would only make it more impactful to regain the lost ground over these past few months.
But, as always, there’s two sides to a coin. Below are some pros and cons that I could think of at the moment.
- Bigger draw for spectators, as more players will be participating at any one event.
- More sponsors, bigger venues and more tennis to watch.
- Lower ranked players have the potential to earn more.
- Possibility of more local events which can encourage the sport to grow in regional areas.
- Too much control of worldwide competitive tennis in one central body.
- Overreaching their sphere of influence may impact local leagues/associations and their autonomy to operate.
- Will tennis retain its ‘spirit’ and ‘tradition’?
- Vested interests by private enterprises/individuals would cause an imbalance of authority in the world’s tennis economy.
- Will this kill the ITF World Tennis Tour?
Those are just some of the Pros and Cons I could think of at the top of my head. More should be revealed in the coming days and weeks to come, by the two (or more?) most influential people in tennis at the moment.
An interesting time to be part of the world of tennis, even though a single match is not being played!