28 July 2020

Martina Hingis backs Roger Federer’s call for WTA and ATP to merge

Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis has backed Roger Federer’s idea to merge the WTA and ATP organisations.

The WTA currently runs the women’s tour in the sport, while the ATP is in charge of the men’s tour.

Hingis retired from the sport in 2017 after an incredible 23-year career (Zuma Press/PA Images)

And Hingis agrees with Federer that the coronavirus pandemic may have provided the perfect time for the organisations to come together.

Speaking to Handelszeitung, she said: “I would see it (the merger) positively. The association would have a stronger position than the tournament organisers.

“It could also be a lever to align the system and also the prize money."

Prize money is currently equal at all four Grand Slam events, but there is still an imbalance at smaller events.

And Hingis is concerned about some of the smaller events if a merger was to take place.

"Aligning (prize money) them at the smaller events could be difficult because many tournaments would then disappear due to the suddenly larger budget," she added.

"Most players cannot live from sport. This problem can only be solved if sport has a higher status in society, which means that more money is invested in sport."

Federer tweeted his proposal to merge the two organisations back in April.

He tweeted: "I am picturing a merger between the WTA and ATP. I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the 2 governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men's and women's professional tours.

"It's too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories.

"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."

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