ATP WTA merger

ATP & WTA in ‘advanced talks’ to merge with Formula 1 investor joining the party

CVC Partners, the wealthy private equity backer that turned around the fortunes of Formula 1 motor racing, is close to securing a deal that would see the ATP and WTA Tours merge and rename as ‘One Tennis’

The discussions for a joint professional tennis tour have been going on for a while with high profile support from marquee names in the game such as Roger Federer, but this significant development would add a proven commercial partner into the mix to help develop elite tennis.

Many commentators and keen followers of tennis have been outspoken on the sport’s seeming lack of commercial vision to help make tennis more accessible for a younger audience.

If the stats are to be believed, the average tennis fan is ageing fast with younger sports fans being drawn to other sports that create more of an entertaining offering.

With CVC on board to help combine the ATP and WTA Tours there would undoubtedly be a focus on engaging with fans in a new digital age in a way that tennis has so far failed to capitalise. The financier has recently taken a stake in the 6 Nations Rugby and the International Volleyball Federation.

The deal under discussion is worth a reported $600m to tennis and could be signed as early as this month.