The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) will rename its tournament categories from next season to align with the men’s ATP, a sign of further collaboration between the tours following a season that was severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The global health crisis decimated the 2020 tennis calendar and prompted calls for a merger of the governing bodies, a suggestion that was well received by both the WTA and ATP.
“A numerical system allows for immediate understanding of tournament level, providing fans with a simple way to understand and engage with the Tour and tournaments,” WTA President Micky Lawler said. “In addition to providing simplicity and immediate understanding, this provides alignment with ATP’s tournament nomenclature so that professional tennis is consistent and reflects the same tournament naming system.”
However, a merger could simplify television contracts and sponsorship deals as viewers currently need different pay-TV platforms to watch matches. “2020 has paved a unique opportunity for greater synergy across all the governing bodies of tennis,” he added.