Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis says she supports the idea of a merger of the men's ATP and women's WTA Tour, during an interview with the Handelszeitung website.
Martina Hingis on the merger of the ATP & WTA Tours and prize money in tennis
Hingis, who won 5 Grand Slam singles titles and was World no.
1 for over 200 weeks, also spoke about the difficulties for players to make a living outside the sport. "I would see it (the merger) positively. The association would have a stronger position than the tournament organisers.
It could also be a lever to align the system and also the prize money. Women and men receive the same prize money at the important events. Aligning them at the smaller events could be difficult because many tournaments would then disappear due to the suddenly larger budget.
Most players cannot live from sport. This problem can only be solved if sport has a higher status in society, which means that more money is invested in sport. Because it's not just sport that celebrates the winners. Society also likes to forget the losers."
The retired Swiss superstar said she is careful with her money and gets advise on money matters, added that she continues to earn from her advertising contracts and exhibition events, as well as a pension from the WTA, which she says are 'modest, certainly not at the CEO level.
Although she is not able to disclose the details of her sponsorship deals, Hingis added that a well established player like herself can earn well as a brand ambassador. "Sponsorship contracts have paragraphs that prohibit making content public.
That's why people think stars with sponsors would earn a lot more. But that's not always like this." Martina Hingis was No. 1 for a total of 209 weeks in singles and 90 weeks in doubles. She won five Grand Slam singles titles, thirteen Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and seven Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; for a combined total of 25 Grand Slam titles.
titles. She also won the year-ending WTA Finals twice in singles and thrice in doubles and an Olympic silver medal. According to Forbes, Hingis was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for five consecutive years, 1997 to 2001.
In 2013, Hingis was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and was appointed two years later the organization's first ever Global Ambassador.