Monday, Sep 28, 2020 | Last Update : 06:54 PM IST

188th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra1339232103001535571 Andhra Pradesh6756746050905708 Tamil Nadu5808085251549313 Karnataka5755664622418582 Uttar Pradesh3870853258885594 Delhi2711142366515235 West Bengal2474252169214781 Odisha209374173571850 Telangana1872111564311107 Bihar178882164537888 Kerala175385117917678 Assam169985139977655 Gujarat1332191132403417 Rajasthan1288591077181441 Haryana1237821059901307 Madhya Pradesh117588932382207 Punjab107096840253134 Chhatisgarh9856566860777 Jharkhand7770964515661 Jammu and Kashmir69832495571105 Uttarakhand4533233642555 Goa3107125071386 Puducherry2548919781494 Tripura2412717464262 Himachal Pradesh136799526152 Chandigarh112128677145 Manipur9791760263 Arunachal Pradesh8649623014 Nagaland5768469311 Meghalaya5158334343 Sikkim2707199431 Mizoram178612880
  Sports   Tennis  23 Apr 2020  Players back Federer over tennis merger even as Kyrgios questions

Players back Federer over tennis merger even as Kyrgios questions

Published : Apr 23, 2020, 2:00 pm IST
Updated : Apr 23, 2020, 2:00 pm IST

Top players agreed that a merger could help tennis recover from the coronavirus shutdown, which has seen Wimbledon cancelled

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios. AFP Photo
 Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios. AFP Photo

Paris: WTA founder Billie Jean King and Rafael Nadal led a wave of support on Thursday for Roger Federer's suggestion that "now is the time" to merge the men's and women's governing bodies, while tennis is at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Federer, winner of a record 20 men's Grand Slam crowns, said a merger of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and the men's Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) "probably should have happened a long time ago" in a series of tweets.


The Swiss great's idea for one "stronger body" received an enthusiastic response from King, Nadal and leading women's players such as former Wimbledon champions Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza, but controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios expressed reservations.

"Just wondering... 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 posed to his 12.7 million Twitter followers.

Trailblazer King, who was instrumental in establishing the WTA in 1973, said such a merger "has long been my vision for tennis".

"I agree, and have been saying so since the early 1970s. One voice, women and men together... Let's make it happen," she tweeted.


Nadal, who has 19 Grand Slam titles, posted: "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 organisation."

Federer and Nadal argued that a merger could help tennis recover from the coronavirus shutdown, which has seen Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since World War II and the French Open postponed from May to the end of September.

He said the current system was "too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories".

World number two and reigning Wimbledon champion Halep agreed, tweeting that Federer was "not the only one" thinking along those lines, while Muguruza added, "Yes, would be a good idea".


Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova tweeted: "Hands up if you agree with @rogerfederer," alongside a raised-hand emoji.

Kyrgios not convinced

But Kyrgios said he was yet to be convinced, adding that players should be consulted.

"Did anyone ask the majority of the ATP, what they think about merging with the WTA and how it is good for us?" tweeted the world number 40, renowned for his outspoken views.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Stanislas Wawrinka claimed the subject had already been discussed by the ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

"It was not just a comment like that, there is more talk behind that. Gaudenzi at the ATP was already talking about it," he said during an Instagram Live with 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert.


Gaudenzi, who took charge in January, said last week that the subject of closer collaboration had come up during talks about how to proceed when the Covid19 crisis eases.

"All of the bodies coming together and discussing the calendar, a way forward, player relief and many, many other topics. That could be the positive outcome of this," he said on ATP Tennis Radio.

"Finally, the governing bodies of tennis and the Grand Slams are getting together and working collaboratively on the long-term future of the sport," confirmed the 46-year-old Italian, who as a player won three ATP Tour titles and reached 18 in the rankings.

Tags: nick kyrgios, roger federer, billie jean king, andrea gaudenzi, simona halep, atp tour, wta tour
Location: France, Île-de-France, Paris