A few months ago, Roger Federer launched the idea of a merger between ATP and WTA in order to alleviate the heavy consequences of the global pandemic for the tennis world. The proposal had immediately received the support of numerous colleagues and professionals, but there was no necessary commitment to carry it forward.
One of the peculiarities of tennis has always been the opportunity for men and women to share the stage in the most important tournaments. It's impossible to forget the success of Boris Becker and Steffi Graf in Wimbledon before the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the triumph of Roger Federer and Serena Williams at the Championships in 2012.
However, male and female champions almost never have the opportunity to play together. On this aspect Andy Murray has always fought fiercely, as well as to ensure the equal prize pool between men and women.
Murray on mixed-gender events
"I think sports miss a bit of a trick with this stuff.
The Hopman Cup, for example, was a brilliant event in my opinion," Andy Murray said. "Putting match-ups in tennis like Serena Williams and Roger Federer on the same court, it is so brilliant for our sport," Murray continued.
"Not necessarily every single week, but at times it would be great. I would like to see Rafael Nadal on the court with some of the top female players. When I watched Roger Federer and Serena Williams playing, it was great.
They were into it and I’m sure they enjoyed it as well," Murray stated. The clash between Federer and Serena was the highlight of the last Hopman Cup, with a record 14,000 spectators attending a historic event on the Perth Arena.
If Murray manages to breach his desire, more events such as the Hopman Cup could be organized in the future (possibly involving male and female top players). Murray believes he could have an advantage when the tour does resume next month as he has experience of coming back from long lay-offs.
The ATP Tour has been suspended since March due to coronavirus but it will restart in mid-August with the Southern & Western Open, played on the site of the US Open. Murray has made several comebacks over the last few years after his run of injuries, but others may not be used to it.
“It will make a difference. You just can’t replicate matches in practice, it just isn’t the same,” he said.