Roger Federer boasts the beauty of 12.7 million followers on Twitter. This number is helpful for explaining the resonance that his proposal to unify ATP and WTA to help tennis in this difficult moment has had. In fact, many second-tier players need financial support and a merger could help overcome the crisis more quickly and effectively.
British No 1 Johanna Konta has thrown her support behind a merger of the ATP and WTA tours, but insists there has to be equality. “Billie Jean King beat him [Federer] to that a long time ago,” Konta said in a recent interview.
“So I think it is something that has been talked about for a long time but having Roger vocalise it drew attention to it" "I also know there are a lot of moving parts to it, and I know there will be a lot of people who won’t want it to happen, but also a lot of people who do want it to happen," Konta added.
"For me, for my comprehension, I don’t understand how it wouldn’t be of equals because if we are then talking about that, would it be us literally saying we are worth less than our male counterparts?" Konta questioned.
"It would have to be a merger of equals because that’s what we are. I wouldn’t see how, right now in today’s age, it would be allowed to be called anything else." WTA Tour chief Steve Simon also admitted that financial parity is unlikely to be part of any initial agreement, saying he “thinks it’s a long-term goal”.