Roger Federer calls for merger of men’s, women’s tennis tours

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The ATP and WTA are the two separate tours in the tennis world — the ATP is the governing body of the men’s tour, while the WTA runs the professional women’s tour. One of the game’s biggest stars, Roger Federer, wants that to change.

In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Federer petitioned for the ATP and WTA to merge into one professional tour. It would handle all professional tennis players and tours.

“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?” Federer¬†wrote on Twitter.

The ATP was originally founded in 1972 and has been in charge of men’s tennis ever since. The WTA was founded one year later.

Federer believes that combining the two tours into a single body that oversees both men’s and women’s tennis is long overdue.

“It probably should have happened a long time ago,” Federer added. “But maybe now is really the time.”

Federer is not the only tennis star who wants this to happen. His tweets were greeted with supportive replies from some of his counterparts, including 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza. 

“As you know per our discussions,” Nadal responded to Federer’s tweet, “I completely agree that it would be great to get out of this world crisis with the union of men’s and women’s tennis in one only organization.”

Tennis legend Billie Jean King even threw her support behind Federer’s idea.

“I agree, and have been saying so since the early 1970s,” King replied. “One voice, women and men together, has long been my vision for tennis. The WTA on its own was always Plan B. I’m glad we are on the same page. Let’s make it happen.”

At four of the Grand Slam tournaments ever year, men and women both compete. Otherwise, the two tours are completely. The tennis calendar is currently on hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Both the ATP and WTA have been suspended and play is halted until at least mid-July. 

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