A pair of two-time major champions and leading voices on the WTA Tour have voiced their opinion on a possible ATP/WTA merger.
Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both showed support for a potential unifying merger between the tours, in response to the media clamor that occurred in the wake of Roger Federer’s surprise tweet last week.
Halep has long supported the notion of having the tours play under one collective roof and elaborated on her reasoning.
“I think the advantages of a merger would be unifying the sport, and being stronger together,” Halep told Reuters this week. “If we have one product, one brand and everyone working together to achieve the same goals, the future of tennis could be very bright after we come out of this crisis.”
“One product, one brand and everyone working together to achieve the same goals… the future of #tennis could be very bright after we come out of this crisis,” @Simona_Halep tells Reuters mind talks of men’s and women’s merger #ATP #wta https://t.co/2nB0Yxz569 pic.twitter.com/2H3GVmQe5K
— Ossian Shine 🇪🇺 (@ossianshine) April 29, 2020
The Tours will have a lot to work on if there really is to be a deal struck. The two entities work under a similar business model but there are many differences, including prize money variances, different television deals and length of season, to name just a few.
Halep said that equal prize money across the board would have to happen. Currently it isn’t the case as the ATP and WTA only receive equal compensation at the majors and at Indian Wells and Miami.
“Men and women on the same level, marketed and promoted in the same way with equal opportunities and of course equal prize money across the board,” said Halep, adding: “It would also be exciting to have the chance to work more closely with the top male players.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion also believes that a merger would help the sport put forth a more cohesive package for its fans worldwide. But Kvitova admits that much work will have to be done for true unity to be achieved.
“Combining our tours year-round would hopefully produce a stronger sport, better TV coverage, more sponsors and most importantly, a better experience for fans,” she told Reuters. “First of all, a merger would take a great deal of discussion and hard work as many things would need to change.”
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) April 22, 2020