The executive director of the WTA, Steve Simon, expressed their support to the merger with the ATP after the calls to unify the circuits of women’s tennis and men led by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
In an interview with the newspaper the New York Times (NYT) published Tuesday, Simon considered that the unification would require a long work, but pointed out that the current global crisis by the pandemic COVID-19 can generate the proper context to put it in place.
“I do not fear a complete fusion; I’ve never had,” said Simon to the journal. “It would certainly be the first to support it… Obviously it is a long and winding road to get there, but I think that makes all the sense in the world.”
The comments of Simon arriving after Federer, followed after by Nadal, proposed this idea last month.
“I was wondering… am I the only one thinking that now is the time for the tennis male and female to join together and form one single” wondered the swiss on his Twitter account.
The proposal of Federer, who clarified that he was referring to unifying the instances leaders and not the competitions on the track, attracted enthusiastic support in the personalities of both circuits, including Nadal and tennis legend female Billie Jean King.
In his interview with the NYT, Simon said that any initiative of unification would give concrete expression to the long-term. However, the climate of uncertainty caused by the pandemic of the new coronavirus could give the impetus to reach an agreement on a merger.
“This is a unique moment,” said Simon. “The crisis and the challenges at times can also provide opportunities.”
In an eventual process, “there would be no shortage of accountants, tax lawyers, lawyers and all who are involved in this. Would take time, but conceptually it may not take that long,” said Simon.
“If you agree with the objective, normally you can do things faster,” he said.
Both the ATP as the WTA, whose seasons have been suspended since march, have been forced to take cost cutting measures since the onset of the pandemic.
Simon stressed in the interview that a merger was not necessary to ensure the survival of the WTA.
“It’s not about trying to save the WTA,” he said. “We’ll be fine, but if we’re going to do the right thing in business and we are finally going to unite the sport, I think that the WTA would support this concept.”