Steve Simon, the Chief Executive of the WTA Tour, says he completely supports the idea of a merger between the ATP & WTA Tours but added that no formal discussions have begun, telling the New York Times in an interview that “We’re at the 10,000-foot level."
The issue of the merger between the men's and women's professional tours have been in the background for many years now, but came to the limelight once again when Swiss superstar Roger Federer brought up the same in a post on his social media account last month.
Since then, several former and present players have expressed their support of the idea and the ATP Chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, has also said that he thinks it would be beneficial for the two tours to merge. Speaking to the New York Times, Simon says, "I’m not afraid of the full merger; I never have been."
"I would certainly be the first to support it, because I think then you truly have the business and the strategic principles all aligned, which is what you need to do." "Obviously it’s a long and winding road to get there, but I think it makes all the sense in the world”.
Simon adds that the WTA Tour would be fine on its own but added that it made sense to merge the tours from a business perspective. “This isn’t about trying to save the WTA. We’ll be fine, but look, if we’re going to do the right business thing and we’re finally going to bring the sport together, I think the WTA would be very supportive of this concept”.
“This is a unique time. Crisis and challenges can sometimes provide opportunity as well”. "It would take time, but conceptually it may not take as long. If you agree on the goal, you can usually get things done quicker”.
“Right now we compete against ourselves as well as all the other leagues and entertainment properties. We compete for fans, partners, sponsorships as well as broadcast and data, so the alignment allows you to aggregate assets”.