Half a century after beginning the fight for equal rights in tennis, US tennis legend Billie Jean King emphasized it was too long to bring the men’s and women’s tournaments together.
Tennis legend Jean King: Merging ATP / WTA very slowly
Earlier, former world No. 1 Roger Federer called for the ATP and WTA tours to be integrated.
Two years after the opening era of tennis began in 1968, Jean King, along with her female colleagues called “Original 9,” launched a campaign for equality of men and women, requiring equal prizes for both men and women, and set up a unified management agency with male and female athletes.
Sharing her views, Jean King, who has won the Grand Slam 12 times, said: “I heard that the male players started to form and I also told them,” Why don’t we have a half? festival? That way we can all stand together. “
Professional Tennis Association (ATP) was launched in 1972 and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was born in 1973, in what King describes as “Plan B”. King’s hope for a unified tennis management agency has recently been supported by 20 Grand Slam player Roger Federer.
The Swiss tennis player wrote on Twitter: “Am I the only one who thinks that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be merged and combined?”. Immediately, Federer’s comments received a series of positive responses from the tennis community.
Besides, he also said that leaving two separate sides will make fans very headache when distinguishing between different ranking systems, different logos or websites… This view of Federer has received. The support of many famous players like Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Diego Schwartzman, Garbine Muguruza …
Former world No. 1 queen Jean King has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles in her career, making her one of the most successful tennis female tennis players. “It just shows you the culture and generation of young men today, they really believe that girls and their sons should have equal opportunities,” Jean King stressed.
In 1973, Jean King strengthened his position after defeating Bobby Riggs in the “Sex War”, becoming a leading figure in the struggle for women’s equality in sports.
The 76-year-old former player added, “I always felt we were stronger when we were together, that’s my whole philosophy. When you get to know people, then you will care more about them. In my day, cultured men never took our heads. “
At the moment, there are three organizations that manage tennis tournaments: ATP (professional management for men), WTA (professional management for women) and ITF (management low level or amateur leagues). The current tournament is forced to be postponed due to the impact of the pandemic.
In the view of Billie Jean King, she wants to see the different ranking systems in men’s and women’s tennis being eliminated, as part of a series of changes to make the tournament easier for fans.
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