Top WTA players Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova say that tennis can emerge stronger from the current crisis due to the global pandemic if the merger of the ATP Tour and WTA Tour were to become a reality. The debate about the merger between the two bodies, long advocated by WTA founder Billie Jean King, gained traction last week after Roger Federer suggested the same in a tweet of his.
Speaking to Reuters, World No. 2 Simona Halep, a former French Open and the reigning Wimbledon champion, says, “I think the advantages of a merger would be unifying the sport, and being stronger together. If we have one product, one brand and everyone working together to achieve the same goals, the future of tennis could be very bright after we come out of this crisis.
Men and women on the same level, marketed and promoted in the same way with equal opportunities and of course equal prize money across the board. It would also be exciting to have the chance to work more closely with the top male players”.
Kvitova, also a two time Grand Slam champion like Halep, agreed that the merger would be beneficial for both tours and the sport. “If we can find a way for the men and women to work together for the better of the sport then that would be exciting.
Combining our tours year-round would hopefully produce a stronger sport, better TV coverage, more sponsors and most importantly, a better experience for fans. First of all, a merger would take a great deal of discussion and hard work as many things would need to change." The Czech woman is currently ranked No. 12 in the world and has won the Wimbledon singles title twice in her career.