Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek - US Open 2022/2023

Potential ATP and WTA merger ‘would be amazing’ claims former No.2

There have been reports of a potential merger between the ATP and WTA tours, which is something that Roger Federer had previously pushed for, and two-time Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja claims that this would be good for the sport moving forward. 

It was revealed in a report by The Telegraph that ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi and WTA CEO Steve Simon are set to meet alongside tournament representatives and executives in London later this month for a two-day summit.

Both Gaudenzi and Simon are reportedly keen for the tours to combine, with the apparent motive to prevent any chance of a LIV Golf like Saudi Arabian takeover.

Saudi Arabia have recently been announced as the hosts for the ATP Next-Gen Finals until 2027, and have also been a rumoured bidder for the WTA Finals.

Initial meetings over the merger were held last week, and Corretja is excited about the prospect, “It would be amazing, I think it would be brilliant.”

The former No.2 continued, “All these tournaments (Grand Slams) are very successful because they play with men and women combined. Also, we need to understand that it’s not that easy to make a whole 100% merge because you need to have special venues.

“But now we have four Slams. We have so many Master 1000s as well, which they play together. A merger would be great because the ATP and WTA would try to be as close as possible. It can get a little bit confusing with the ATP, WTA and ITF tournaments, but the intention is there and it would be great news for everyone. Hopefully they can work it out.”

Currently there are 11 combined events on the tennis calendar, with all four Grand Slams, five Masters/WTA 1000 events, the United Cup and the first combined ATP/WTA 500 event in Washington D.C. that was held last month.

It is believed that a big motivation for the WTA to merge with the ATP is to push towards its ‘pathway to equal prize money’ at all WTA 1000 events by 2027.

Despite all four majors offering equal prize money to both men and women, players across the WTA tour still earn 75% less than their male counterparts.

This is not the first time that there has been talk of a merger between the two tours, with Federer releasing a social media message towards the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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?” questioned Federer.

The now-retired 20-time major winner continued, “I am picturing a merger between the WTA and ATP. I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the two governing bodies [ATP and WTA] that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours.

“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 two weakened bodies or one stronger body.”

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.