Roger Federer calls for ATP and WTA tours to merge amid the coronavirus pandemic

Roger Federer

Roger Federer believes the ATP and WTA tours should be merged in order to ensure tennis emerges stronger from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 20-time grand-slam champion posted a series of tweets expressing his belief that the sport would be better off with one stronger governing body.

Federer feels that the time has come for tennis to be "united" and his idea received widespread support.

He tweeted: "Just 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?

"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...."

Replying to a tweet which suggested it was a surprise that a merger has not already happened, Federer added: "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."

The 38-year-old's comments attracted support from his fellow professionals, including 19-time grand-slam winner and long-time adversary Rafael Nadal.

Nadal tweeted: "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."

Billie Jean King, who won 39 grand slam titles, said it was an idea she had been proposing since the 1970s.

She replied: "I agree, and have been saying so since the early 1970s. One voice, women and men together, has long been my vision for tennis.

"The WTA on its own was always Plan B. I'm glad we are on the same page. Let's make it happen #onevoice."

Reigning Wimbledon women's singles champion Simona Halep also replied with her support, saying: "You are not the only one."

Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza said: "Yes, would be a good idea."

ATP star Diego Schwartzman also tweeted his support.

The tennis calendar has been decimated by the pandemic, with Wimbledon forced to cancel and the French Open postponing their grand slam event until September.

All tennis is currently postponed until at least July 13.

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