The mid-season break because of the coronavirus pandemic prompted heavyweights of the sport like Roger Federer to ponder upon the possible merger of ATP and WTA. It is a herculean task at the moment and thus has raised a lot of questions.
Former ATP president Chris Kermode revealed that it is not the first time the talk of the merger erupted. He expressed doubts and is skeptical about the idea.
“I think all these things, the WTA-ATP merger, is not the first time that it’s been mentioned. And I think that it depends on what you mean by it,” Kermode said in The Tennis Podcast.
Chris Kermode reacts to ATP-WTA merger idea of Roger Federer
Billie Jean King, the founder of WTA, approved Federer’s tweet and said that she was in support of the merger for decades.
“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?” Federer tweeted.
Kermode reacted to Federer’s tweet and raised his questions on the matter.
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Kermode said: “People make these statements, like almost political statements of it, and does that mean one organization centralizing everything, or is this because of cost-saving, or is this just the image of the game or combination of both.”
Complex matters with the ATP-WTA merger
Realizing the complexities of the merger process, Kermode advised a slower and gradual step towards the union. From small collaborations, the process could start.
“All these things are very complex because you get the history of the organizations. I think where it will start is there will be much more collaboration, and that’s the starting point.”
There are a lot of financial differences between ATP and WTA. Further, some rules in WTA differ from ATP as well.
But we can also see that recently WTA changed the naming of its tournaments. It is now uniform to the ATP’s naming scheme of ATP 1000, 500, and 250 level tournaments.
These small steps could bring uniformity between the organizations and in some years we could achieve the union of ATP and WTA.