How many times has tennis heard that its different ruling bodies and factions need to get on the same page for the sport’s benefit?
It has come through loud and clear again in meetings this week at the Australian Open, as the ATP’s leader, Mark Miles, presented a study to the WTA and the Grand Slam Committee.
A consulting firm, McKinsey, interviewed figures inside and outside tennis, and studied other sports.
Among the conclusions are that tennis is not reaching its potential and that the different ruling bodies need to work more closely together.
The ATP has already held meetings with the WTA to discuss sharing ideas and pooling resources on particular marketing efforts and infrastructure.
Additionally, the ATP is interested in some form of the WTA’s mentor program, which pairs a player 18 or younger with a recently retired player. Larry Scott, the ATP’s chief operating officer, said the ATP and WTA plan to conduct a joint educational program for junior players at Wimbledon.
The public’s appetite for combined events is strong, the report found. There are 16 combined events, it said, and plans are in the works to add another one in Europe. Down the road, Scott said, a combined season-ending championship is “realistic” for the ATP and WTA.