The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who is recovering from knee surgery after sports around the world were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, expressed his opinion in a series of messages on Twitter.
“Am I the only one who thinks that the time has come for men’s and women’s tennis to come together and come together? Federer wrote, triggering a wave of responses from fans and other players.
The professional era of tennis began in 1968 and ATP was founded in 1972 and has managed men’s football ever since. The WTA was founded in 1973, bringing together professional female play in one tour.
The idea proposed by Federer and others before him would be to combine the two into one body that deals with both men and women.
“It probably should have happened a long time ago,” wrote Federer. “But maybe the time has really come. “
The publications on social networks have elicited many enthusiastic responses, in particular from Rafael Nadal and some of the best players in the world.
“As you know from our discussions,” wrote Nadal, winner of 19 Grand Slam tournaments, “I totally agree that it would be great to come out of this global crisis with the union of male and female tennis in one organization ”. “
Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza, both recent Wimbledon champions, have also agreed to Federer’s idea.
The same was true for Billie Jean King, the great American who founded the WTA and tried in vain to unite the men and women tours of this decade.
“I agree and have been saying this since the early 1970s. One voice, women and men together, has long been my vision of tennis,” King tweeted in response to Federer. “The WTA as such has always been Plan B. I am happy that we are on the same wavelength. Make sure that this happens. “
There has never been a single tennis tour, but male and female players play the same tournaments several times a year, including all four Grand Slam tournaments.
For much of the season, however, he separated completely.
“It’s too confusing for fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories,” said Federer in response to a comment from a reader.
He stressed that he “was not talking about merging competition on the ground” but rather the two governing bodies.
“These are tough times in all sports,” said Federer, “and we can get away with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body. “
Former WTA executive director Anne Worcester called for a merger of male and female tours in an interview with Forbes this month.
All professional tennis has been suspended until at least mid-July due to the coronavirus pandemic, plunging the sport into financial trouble due to loss of revenue from things like ticket sales and rights. medias.
Federer, 38, underwent arthroscopy of the right knee in February. The great Swiss had planned to be sidelined for at least four months before the epidemic put a stop to sports around the world. He tweeted videos of himself practicing during the pandemic.
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