It is time for the guys’s and women’s expert tennis our bodies to merge, says former world number one Kim Clijsters, who wants a united front in the sport because the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) celebrates its 50-yr anniversary.
The Belgian’s remarks echo a sentiment lengthy held by way of the great Billie Jean King, who pioneered the circuit half of a century in the past and may be available at Wimbledon this week to have a good time the WTA’s a long time of promoting equity for women in sport.
“Would I like to see it (ATP/WTA merger)? Yeah I assume it might make the brand so much more potent,” the four-time Grand Slam champion told Reuters relating to the guys’s Association of Tennis Professionals body.
“A lot of times to the outdoor global humans mechanically count on that it’s far one organization. You recognise what I imply? Like individuals who do not know a whole lot approximately tennis, they are saying, ‘Oh yea, ATP and WTA’, but at the back of it there’s one unit.’ But it is, , a long way from that.”Clijsters, the honorary president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF), said the impact of the WTA cannot be overstated, and counts assembly King and German high-quality Steffi Graf among the biggest and most pivotal moments of her career.
The ITHF unveiled a video phase celebrating 50 years of the WTA this yr called “TennisWorthy.”
“There’s so many humans behind the scenes who’re all sort of facing in the identical direction and who need to peer this trend of, you know, making (ladies’s tennis) move upwards,” stated the forty-year-antique Clijsters.
“As lengthy as all of us form of have that attitude and it’s no longer just one person who can make the distinction, it is all people together as a strong unit, institution, I think this is the most effective way that we are able to go to get it to a place where blended events are putting the same amount of gamers – girls as men – on middle courts or late night time matches.”King will return to the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, where the WTA turned into fashioned at a meeting of gamers, on Friday ahead of the start of the Wimbledon essential draw next week. But she has lengthy felt that the 2 aspects – ATP and WTA – would be more potent collectively, an argument King reiterated after retired notable Roger Federer resurfaced the concept three years ago.
“There’s pros and cons to the whole lot, right?” said Clijsters. “There were many, many, many conversations approximately doing that. And you kind of continually come across a wall where, you understand, not lots occurs and it stays with conversations. And of direction, I would like to peer, you understand, there being one enterprise.”