American doubles star Bethanie Mattek-Sands says the ATP and WTA merger could really happen as she hopes the governing bodies of tennis will sit down and make something happen. In April, record 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer suggested this could be the perfect time to merge the men's and women's professional tours.
Rafael Nadal, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, was one of the first players who backed Federer's proposal.
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? — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 22, 2020
"I think so.
There’s just so many working pieces in play. You have the ITF, all four Slams, the WTA and the ATP. Then you have tournaments that are owned by different agencies and different private people. And so it takes a lot for everyone to come together.
And that’s why I really hope now is a good time and that we all could sit down to see what is best for everyone, what’s best for tennis, what’s best for the players, what’s best for the sponsors. I’m really a big fan of everyone getting together to find a win-win for everyone because it’s possible.
I genuinely think the Tours together are going to be stronger. If you think about entertainment value for fans or sponsors," Mattek-Sands told Tennis Majors.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands thinks both tours would benefit
Mattek-Sands, a former doubles world No.
1, suggests both men and women would benefit from this proposed ATP and WTA merger and it could help tennis grow and reach new heights. "There are so many added benefits where both men and women will get a lot out of this, sponsors will get a lot out of it, the TV will get a lot out of it.
If tennis is at the forefront of this, that would be amazing as it would be one of the first sports to have the men and women combined. Let’s be at the forefront! We’ve made so many strides in equality so let’s keep it moving.
I really see only wins for this happening. So hopefully the powers that be come together and figure it out. But I think it’s definitely possible," Mattek-Sands added. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 35, has been one of the most accomplished doubles players from her generation as she is a five-time Grand Slam champion in women's doubles and a four-time Grand Slam champion in mixed doubles.