Rafael Nadal joins Roger Federer in calling for ATP, WTA merger

EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Roger Federer earned widespread support on Wednesday when he suggested the two main tour bodies – the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association – should merge.

“Just wondering,” said Roger. “Am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united? We can come out of this [pandemic] with two weakened bodies or one stronger body.” 

Rafael Nadal supported his long-time rival’s proposition.

“Hey @rogerfederer as you know per our discussions 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,” he said.

Roger and Rafa argued by a merger tennis could emerge stronger from the coronavirus lockdown which has seen the sport shut down with Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since World War II and the French Open pushed back to the end of September.

“It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time. These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body,” Federer wrote.

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

Source: AFP

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21 comments

  1. I just read that Rafa withdrew from a virtual tennis match on playstation due to a “back injury” sustained during exerciise. Really? What’s going on?

    • Feli Lopez stated on his twitter account that it was a joke. Reuters ran a story as if it was factual.

      There is apparently a report in Marca that the ATP/ WTA are going to announce that the suspension will be extended to August 3.

      Rafa wants to have up to 80 players stay at his Academy to train and play each other. I don’t believe it is wise if they come in from all over the world. Perhaps Spaniards only. Even then without a vaccine this does not seem worth taking a risk for.

      • Hi RR,

        Do you know what time is Rafa scheduled to play tomorrow? Rafa asked Feli to postpone his second match to tomorrow. He should play at least one match I assumed? I could not find the schedule yet. Thanks!

      • Tuesday, April 28th schedule is out.
        Rafa vs Murray 15:00 local time
        Rafa vs Paire Not Before 16:00 local time

        Good luck Rafa🍀🍀

  2. I have never read such vitriol directed at female tennis players. Many have stated they are willing to play best of five at Slams.

    And tennis players, females and males, play more tournaments each year other than the four Slams. The less important tournaments should pay females the same as males. Those tournaments are all best of three.

    Of the Masters tournaments, I didn’t do any research to see if any of them offer equal pay.

    What goes on at the Slams is dictated by each tournament’s ruling body, not the players. The Slams can hardly manage schedules now so how will they manage any better by adding two more sets to their tournament.

    Before pointing fingers and denigrating female players, please do some research. You may discover there is no “quick fix” by simply having females play best of five at the Slams.

    Here’s to all of you staying safe from COVID-19.

  3. What Roger and Rafa are referring to is putting women’s and men’s tennis under the same umbrella… making tennis stronger by merging … They’re not referring to changing the rules of womens tennis. Merging does not mean having women play five sets… It’s about the bigger picture in merging 2 leagues…

    I think it’s a great idea and way overdue…

  4. Only tennis players ,men and women, should vote on this. The top 50 in each group ….put it to their vote!

  5. Am not in favour of a merger. You cannot compare womens to mens games. No comparison. If they merge well women must do 5 setter too. No way on planet unless we are going to have a jet set of Wonder Women happen overnight. Keep as is

    • I totally agree with you!! There is NO comparison between the men and women!! If women want to be treated equal to men, they need to play equal, the best of 5 sets in majors!! They can NOT compare to men! Women are all over the place!! I’d LOVE to see a woman try to compete with the men!! lol They shouldn’t be given the same prize money either!! IMO, they don’t deserve it!!

  6. The only way this merger would be fair is if BOTH men and women play FIVE sets in the indicated tennis tournaments! Equal pay for equal play!!

    • Sadly, the women already get the same prize money & ONLY play the best of 3 sets and men have to play the best of 5 sets in majors!!! It’s not right!! Does that sound equal?!?! BJK can take her “Equality” somewhere else (if you know what I mean) until the women have to play the best of 5 sets in majors like the men!! And, BTW, women are SO inconsistent, they don’t deserve the recognition and ANY comparison to the men!! Sorry, that’s just the way it is!! And, I do love some of the WTA players, but come on, if you want equal rights, equal pay, then play the EQUAL amount of time/sets!! Time for BJK to step out of the limelight and stop thinking she is so awesome, IMO!! Her time is over & she needs to step down!!

  7. I think a merger should have been done long ago. The ATP website is so easy to navigate and this would be a plus for the WTA were they to combine the websites.

  8. If BJ is so “ahead of her time” then why didn’t she suggest that women play best of 5 sets in majors??? I’m guessing because most of them can’t, but they insist on equal prize money?!?! That’s WRONG, IMO!! The real winners would show up then! Doesn’t really seem “equal” to me?!?! If they go 5, then the best player wins & they are equal to men/ATP! Just my opinion!

  9. NO MERGER!! I love Roger and Rafa! Rafa much more, though! Rafa is the GOAT! In my opinion, the two should NOT merge! The women are NOT as great as the men! Sorry, but it’s true! They don’t practice or play as much (IMO-don’t have current stats), I KNOW they don’t draw the crowds, don’t play the same number of sets, extremely inconsistent, sometimes a bit boring, and they should not be given the same prize money unless they want to play 5 sets in majors! If they want to be equal (which some already think they are – I won’t mention any names), they should have to go the best of 5 sets in majors (let’s see who would win some of those matches!), just like the men! Don’t get me wrong, I love WTA too (I have my faves), but there is NO comparison!! Seriously?!?! Come on!!

  10. I LOVE these two phenomenal men! They are both kind, unselfish, humble and fair. Most champions are not like them. They usually have egos as big as Trump’s, well maybe not that big…lol. It is only right that the women who are playing tennis today should be treated as equals to their male counterparts, including making the same amount of money as the greats, like Federer and Nadal. Bravo to both!

  11. I don’t see why there need to be so many different organisations. It just causes confusion, especially when you get weird situations like female players at the Australian Open being allowed to take a heat break but male players having to play on, or a different number of seconds allowed before serving.

  12. I hope Roger will retire this year and been given the job ..he would love the power of being Commissioner

  13. Perhaps Roger would like to be Commissioner of tennis when he retires ( sooner rather than later would be my preference).

  14. Billie Jean King suggested this decades ago, I think when the ATP was first formed, and was turned down by the men players in no uncertain terms. BJ was always way ahead of her time.

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