Rival puts ignorant Kyrgios in his place
Canadian star Vasek Pospisil has taken aim at Nick Kyrgios, accusing him of making ill-informed comments about a proposed merger between the men's and women's tennis tours.
Last month Roger Federer used a string of tweets to call for the merger of the ATP and WTA, an idea that received widespread support from players, fans and tennis officials.
However, Kyrgios isn't on board with the plan, suggesting the Swiss was the only person thinking it was a good idea for the two governing bodies to come together.
The Canberra product then questioned if anyone had asked those on the ATP Tour whether they agreed with Federer's radical revamp.
Did anyone ask the majority of the ATP what they think about merging with the WTA and how it is good for us?— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) April 22, 2020
Players like Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep, as well as greats Rennae Stubbs and Billie Jean King, all supported the idea and world No. 93 Pospisil said Kyrgios's opposition came from a place of ignorance.
"You know what, it's because a lot of players express, or people in general, will express an opinion without having any information, just because they feel like they want to say something," Pospisil said on an episode of TSN In Depth.
"That might be the case with Nick.
"To be honest, he's in no position to express an opinion when he just hears about this for the first time and has done zero due diligence.
"There are some guys like that and I'll have no problem telling him that to his face."
MERGER WON'T BE AN 'ACQUISITION'
WTA chief Steve Simon has said a merger with the men's ATP "makes all the sense in the world" but that it would not take the form of "an acquisition".
The tennis season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the hiatus will continue at least until mid-July, depriving lower-level players who depend solely on tournament winnings of the chance to earn a living.
Both Simon and ATP Tour Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi welcomed the suggestion of a merger, but some top WTA players have said they want an equal standing for the women players in a combined body.
"It's not an acquisition," WTA chief executive Simon told the New York Times. "This isn't about either tour taking territory.
"Right now we compete against ourselves as well as all the other leagues and entertainment properties. We compete for fans, partners, sponsorships as well as broadcast and data, so the alignment allows you to aggregate assets."
As many as seven associations run different parts of the sport in the world. Besides the ATP and the WTA Tours, tennis is also controlled by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the boards of the four grand slam tournaments.
A merger of the tours could simplify television contracts and sponsorship deals. The men's and women's players have a separate ranking system while some rules, including on-court coaching, are also different.
"I'm not afraid of the full merger; I never have been," Simon said. "I would certainly be the first to support it, because I think then you truly have the business and the strategic principles all aligned, which is what you need to do.
"Obviously it's a long and winding road to get there, but I think it makes all the sense in the world.
"This isn't about trying to save the WTA. We'll be fine, but look, if we're going to do the right business thing and we're finally going to bring the sport together, I think the WTA would be very supportive of this concept."
Simon said it was a "unique time" for tennis.
"Crisis and challenges can sometimes provide opportunity as well," he added. "There's going to be no shortage of accountants, tax lawyers, lawyers and everybody else that is involved with it. It would take time, but conceptually it may not take as long.
"If you agree on the goal, you can usually get things done quicker."
Originally published as Rival puts ignorant Kyrgios in his place
We shouldn’t merge— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) April 23, 2020