With the coronavirus pandemic halting the entire tennis action at least until July, the time is right for some notable changes and efforts to take the sport onto a higher level for the upcoming generations. Roger Federer and many others would love to see the ATP and WTA under one umbrella and organization, urging for the necessary moves and better experience for both players and fans.
At the moment, it is not easy to follow different organizations and differences between men's and women's tennis, starting from ranking, tournament categories, prize money and all other essential segments of our sport.
Famous coach Darren Cahill stands on the same page with the players, calling for the merging of both tours and simplified rules and the way to watch and follow tennis. Cahill believes the ATP and WTA should work together on improvements, praising the categories and the ranking system from the men's side of the game and hoping for a similar thing on the WTA circuit as soon as possible.
"This leads us more towards a commissioner in tennis," Cahill said. "Let's say the four Slams remain as they are, but then you have the ATP, the WTA and the ITF all rolled into one, which means you can appoint a commissioner of tennis that oversees the men's and women's tours, Fed Cup, Davis Cup, the Olympics and also the smaller events that are under the ITF and also under the WTA.
That person and that organization would have enormous power. I think, hypothetically, it would be a pretty good position for a tennis player to be in, because you know that every single decision is made in the best interest of the game.
At the moment, as a fan of tennis, if you want to try to follow tennis, whether it's Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the WTA, the ATP, smaller events, there are so many different platforms a fan has to subscribe to and it's confusing.
Social media becomes much easier as well if the tours are merged. Instead of competing against each other for a social media space, that becomes all one. We would have one set of rules as well; at the moment, there are different rules on the WTA tour compared to the ATP tour, one set of rankings as well, which would make everything much easier to understand.
Even for us that live on the WTA tour, it's not easy to know how the tour works, whereas the men's tour is much more comfortable. We know your 1000s, the 500s, the 250s and how the rankings work, it's much more complicated on the women's tour, so this would simplify everything.
At the moment, the men command a little more at the negotiating table when we're talking about TV rights. Ratings are exciting because it depends on what zone you're in, as to who rates better. I know Serena Williams in the US rates amazingly well and she's up there with Rafa and Federer."