Many of the top male players support the ATP-WTA merger, says Andy Murray
NY: Andy Murray has backed Roger Federer's call to merge male and female tours, saying that many of the best male players believe it will be a positive step for tennis .
When there are a lot of the best male players now starting to argue and talk about it, that is definitely very promising, the Briton, who has often expressed support for gender equality, told CNN on Friday.
When these discussions do occur, it's quite important not only to see this merger through a man's eyes and to attract more women into decision-making positions so that everyone's voice is heard, added the two-time Wimbledon champion, who used to be trained by Amelie. Mauresm
The vision of having one unified tour, which has been debated on and off for decades, was renewed after 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer tweeted last month: "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?"
While professional tennis is suspended across the board due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the men's ATP The tour offers more prize money throughout the year than WTA events.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the issue has divided opinion, with Rafa Nadal among many who support the proposal, while Australian Nick Kyrgios wasted little time rejecting the idea.
Billie Jean King has campaigned for a joint tour since she founded the Women's Tennis Association in 1973, but only now officials on the men's side of the sport appear to be willing to explore the possibility of a merger.
I had a chance to talk to 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 told CNN. We have to stay together as a sport.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Murray said some resistance was to be expected, recalling conversations he had with fellow ATP players who were upset when the bigger tournaments started offering equal prize money.
I talked to some of the male players ... they were not happy because the prize money was the same and I said 'well would you rather there was no raise?' And they said, 'Yes, actually,' said Murray.
These are some of the mindsets you are working with in these discussions.