US Open: Johanna Konta says ATP & WTA merger will ‘take long time to happen’

Johanna Konta hits a return at the Western and Southern Open
Johanna Konta warmed up for the US Open by reaching the Western and Southern Open semi-finals last week

British number one Johanna Konta says a merger between the ATP and WTA Tours would make sense but does not think it will happen while she is still playing.

Swiss great Roger Federer said in April “now is the time” for the men’s and women’s governing bodies to combine.

“It makes sense, but I think there is a long way to go for that to happen,” Konta, 29, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The issue of more unity between the men and women has also been reignited this week by the formation of a men’s union.

On Saturday, between 60 and 70 male players voted to create the Professional Tennis Players’ Association.

Led by world number one Novak Djokovic and Canadian player Vasek Pospisil, it has been formed by those unhappy with the ATP’s governance in an attempt to increase the power of the players.

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray did not sign up for the male-only association and called for the WTA to be involved.

Konta, who is a representative on the WTA players’ council, said she had not been contacted about the plans and did not know the full details about the union.

“I think there is already massive representation of the players in decision making,” said Konta, who is seeded ninth at the US Open and plays compatriot Heather Watson in the first round on Tuesday.

On the ATP and WTA merging, she added: “I definitely think for the future of the sport, and in general, to make it better for the men and the women I see it being a joint organisation.

“I don’t think it will happen in my playing career, I think it will take a long time to happen.”

BBC News