Andy Murray backs Federer's calls to merge men's and women's tours

Andy Murray backs Roger Federer’s calls to merge men’s and women’s tennis tours after the coronavirus shutdown – as he insists it is ‘promising’ to see so many top players joining discussion

  • Roger Federer raised the proposal of merging the men’s and women’s tours
  • Former world No 1 Andy Murray wants to see more people get behind the idea
  • Top players like Rafa Nadal are supportive but Nick Kyrgios is dead set against it 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Andy Murray has backed calls from Roger Federer to merge the men’s and women’s tennis tours after the coronavirus shutdown. 

Talk of one unified tour has gathered pace in recent weeks when 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer posed the question on social media last month.

Former world No 1 Murray is supportive of the idea and argued that the majority of top players believe it would be a positive direction for the game to take. 

Sir Andy Murray has backed the idea to merge the men’s and women’s tennis tours

20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer raised the proposal on social media recently

 

Speaking to CNN, Murray said: ‘When you have a lot of the top male players now starting to discuss and talk about it, that’s definitely very promising,’ Murray, who has often voiced his support for gender equality, said.

‘When these discussions happen it’s quite important not just to see this merger through a man’s eyes and to bring more women into the decision-making positions so that everyone’s voice gets heard.’ 

Women tennis stars, including Serena Williams, have maintained their fight against pay disparities between themselves and their male counterparts with the men’s ATP Tour contentiously offering more prize money in a year than the WTA does.

Federer’s proposal received backing from Rafael Nadal but Australian Nick Kyrgios did not waste any time in rejecting the proposition.

Federer has received backing from Rafael Nadal, one of his friends and rivals in tennis 

But Australian star Nick Kyrgios made it aware that he was dead set against the idea

In response to Federer, Kyrgios wrote on Twitter: ‘We shouldn’t merge. Did anyone ask the majority of the ATP what they about merging with the WTA and how good it is for us?’

A joint tour has been campaigned for by Billie Jean King ever since she founded the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973 and now some of the biggest names in men’s tennis are starting to get behind the idea. 

‘I did have a chance to talk with Roger and he said the reason he even thought about this is because he finally had some space and time to reflect and think about the sport,’ King said. ‘We have to stay together as a sport.’

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Murray admitted that some resistance was to be expected, adding: ‘I spoke to some of the male players… who were unhappy because the prize money was equal and I said “well would you rather there was no increase at all?” And they said to me “Yeah, actually”.

‘That’s some of the mentalities that you’re working with in these discussions.’

Serena Williams is one of many female tennis stars to have campaigned for equal pay

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Murray admitted that some resistance was to be expected




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