REPORT: ATP, WTA Set for Merger Talks In London - UBITENNIS
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REPORT: ATP, WTA Set for Merger Talks In London



ATP CEO Andrea Gaudenzi (pictured) has previously spoken in support of bringing men's and women's's tennis together.

The possibility of the men’s and women’s Tour’s being combined into one for the first time in history appears to have taken a significant step after it was reported that the governing bodies will attend a two-day summit on the matter. 


In a report published by The Telegraph newspaper, executives and tournament representatives will gather together at the end of this month in London to weigh up the possibility of a merger. Although it is expected that no decision will be made at the time. The purpose of the summit is to look at what options are available. 

In recent years numerous players, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have spoken in favour of creating one body that oversees both the men’s and women’s Tour’s. Tennis currently has seven separate governing bodies – the ATP, WTA, ITF and each of the four Grand Slam events has its own management. Supporters of such a move argue that combining these would remove some barriers currently in existence and enable there to be a standard structure for everybody in the sport. 

Andrea Gaudenzi is the CEO of the ATP and has made his pro-merger stance clear on multiple occasions. In a recent interview with Forbes, Gaudenzi said he would like to see ‘men and women together’ when asked what his future vision for tennis would look like. 

“My vision would technically look like a similar structure as the ATP and WTA, but men and women together, including Slams.” He said.
“So you have 50% of the representation with the slams as well. So you have 50% of player representation. Out of that half is women, half of that is men. The other 50% is tournaments, including Grand Slams, Masters, and all the other categories. ‘
“That governance basically makes the best decision in terms of men and women, tennis players and tournaments. Because only if you have the entirety under your responsibility, can do the best job.”

It is speculated that the upcoming talks have been spurred on by a potential threat from Saudi Arabia who will host the ATP Next Gen finals later this year in what will be their first Tour-level event. Officials want to avoid a similar situation to what happened in golf when the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour started in competition with the PGA Tour before a shock merger occurred in June. Saudi Arabia has also presented an offer to host the WTA Finals but they are now reportedly no longer the frontrunner due to concerns about the nation who are accused of sportswashing. 

Bringing tennis together is a very complicated matter and any merger would take months. Each governing body has its own commercial partners and TV rights. Furthermore, the financial situation of both is very different. ProPublica, a nonprofit organization based in New York, reported that the ATP made $176.8 million in revenue for the 2021 season compared to the WTA Tour’s tally of $87.8 million.

The Telegraph estimates that male players earn roughly 75% more than their female peers despite equal prize money being implemented at all Grand Slams. Should a merger occur, there could be a redistribution of finances to ensure that all players receive the same. Something which could become problematic. 

Neither the ATP nor WTA are yet to comment on the upcoming summit. 

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Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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Luca Nardi beats Flavio Cobolli but it’s not enough to advance to the semifinals at the Next Gen Finals



World number 115 Luca Nardi overcame Flavio Cobolli in an Italian match 3-4 (4-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-1) 1-4 4-3 (7-3) in 2 hours and 14 minutes in the final round robin match of Green Group at the Next Gen Finals at King Abdullah Sports Club in Jeddah. 


The win was not enough to earn a semifinal spot for Nardi. Arthur Fils is the first player to qualify for the knock-out stage. The top seeded Frenchman will face Dominic Stricker later today. Stricker needs to win just one set to reach the semifinals. 

Both players went on serve in the first set en route to the tie-break. Cobolli earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Nardi saved two break points in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. The world number 115 broke serve in the sixth game to close out the second set 4-2. 

Cobolli converted his second break point in the first game of the third set. Nardi pulled back on serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nardi opened up a 3-0 lead with two mini-breaks. Cobolli pulled one of the two mini-breaks back for 1-3. Nardi won the final four points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-1. 

Nardi clutched his groin when he was serving at 0-1 in the fourth set and called a medical time-out at 0-3. Cobolli earned a break in the second game to close out the fourth set 4-1. 

Cobolli saved two break points to hold serve in the second game. Nardi fended off two break points in the fifth game. Both players held on serve en route to the tie-break. Nardi earned his first mini-break with a backhand flick from out wide to take a 2-1 lead. Cobolli pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 2-2. Nardi closed out the match with a return down the line winner.   

Nardi hit 27 winners to 12 unforced errors. 

“I am happy with the win. Even if I did not qualify, I think today was the best match I played out of the three. I am a bit sad I did not qualify, but I did not want to leave Jeddah without a win. I kept fighting today and I am happy”, said Nardi. 

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