Andy Murray pays tribute to Billie Jean King

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Andy Murray pays tribute to Billie Jean King

The union of ATP and WTA has been debated for years, but it could be closer than ever after Roger Federer - presumably the most popular player in tennis history - made this wish on Twitter. The 20-time Grand Slam champion immediately received support from his great rival Rafael Nadal, with Murray - another member of the Fab Four - joining them now.

Murray has always promoted equality, becoming the first best male player to employ a female coach. “This is something that Billie Jean has been wanting to happen for 40 to 50 years,” Andy told Amanpour. “She’s the one that really had the vision for all of this, so we need to remember that.

I think it’s great if more of the male players are seeing it as a positive step for the sport. He added: “When you have a lot of the top male players now starting to discuss and talk about it, that’s definitely very promising.

When these discussions happen it’s quite important not just to see this merger through a man’s eyes and to bring more women into the decision-making positions so that everyone’s voice gets heard”. Billie Jean King admitted there are still a few things that need to be worked out.

“I did have a chance to talk with Roger and he said the reason he even thought about this is because he finally had some space and time to reflect and think about the sport,” King said. “We have to stay together as a sport.

The WTA would not be an acquisition. We’d be a full partner in this drive to make our sport better and more valuable. We are much stronger, as Andy said, if we’re together. We’re not competing within our sport like a lot of tennis people think. Our job is to be together so we can compete against other entertainment and sports”.