A couple of days ago, the 20-time Major champion Roger Federer brought out an idea of merging the ATP and WTA into a single organization, pointing out at striking differences between them that shouldn't be there. Rafael Nadal and many other players have backed the Swiss and it will be interesting to follow the situation in the upcoming months, with no tennis events at least until the second part of July but probably for much longer.
The organizers of one of the most prestigious events that bring both ATP and WTA stars in back-to-back weeks in Dubai are ready for the change and all the challenges it would take, with the tournament director Salah Tahlak standing behind Roger's words and praising his idea.
Roger claimed the 100th ATP title in Dubai in 2019, having to skip the event this February due to a knee injury and hoping to return in 2021. "There could be several benefits in terms of coordinating the calendar – especially for combined and back-to-back events – equal prize money objectives, pooling of officials, and most importantly negotiating for a bigger slice with media companies for combined rights," Tahlak told The National.
"There would be issues in terms of deciding share of revenues and scheduling, but these issues could be ironed out and a compromise could be reached with tournament owners and promoters if there was just one governing body.
Since Dubai is a back-to-back event, and Dubai was one of the first events to offer equal prize money, as a tournament director, I would welcome dealing with one governing body for both weeks. It's a no-brainer. It makes sense and could be good for tennis overall." "It depends on the promoter.
When I took over, I wanted to change the whole image of the tour; I wanted to change the way things were presented and everything. Some people accepted it and some people resisted," said the Saudi supremo. They were like, 'We've been doing a tournament, I've been spending $100,000 on it, and now you're telling me I have to spend $400,000?' But everything trickles down and eventually, you have to ride this wave and then go with it and we ultimately succeeded.
We have some men's tournaments, and we didn't push them to have women, now all of a sudden they realized, 'We should have women because it's better for us and it makes the tournament more attractive.' Even though they're not top-tier, so they're not required to, but they want to," said Ziad Al-Turki, the chairman of the Professional Squash Association.