ATP & WTA Merger Meant To Have A More Cohesive Product To Sell To PIF Says Raonic

ATP & WTA Merger Meant To Have A More Cohesive Product To Sell To PIF Says Raonic

by Nurein Ahmed

Milos Raonic joined in on the discussion that has sent heads spinning in recent days amid a possible merger between the governing bodies of men's and women's professional tennis.

The former World No. 3 is up to speed with the news that the ATP and WTA executives will convene a meeting at the end to discuss a merger that is expected to transform the sport of tennis. The consensus so far alludes to the fact that tennis' top heads fear Saudi Arabia's possible takeover.

But more than that, Raonic has shared a fascinating insight on X. Raonic opined that the Public Investment Fund - Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth, estimated to be more than $700 billion - wants ownership of tennis as a whole.

Hosting the Next ATP Finals is obviously a start, and they are reportedly in contention to stage the WTA Finals too. Raonic believes the ultimate goal is ownership. Apart from Nick Kyrgios who reacted to the news on X in a rather downcast mood, none of the other players have commented on this latest development so far, but a possible staging of the WTA Finals there has divided opinion.

Instead of the merger under discussion quelling Saudi's threat, Raonic sees it as a way of creating 'a more cohesive product' to sell to Saudi Arabia's engine of investments - the PIF.

It is incredibly complex to forge any deal under the current climate as ATP and WTA operate as distinct bodies with different governance structures and leadership, hence the projected unison.

"IMO, it’s not to prevent Saudi investment it is to have a more cohesive product to sell to PIF. ATP and WTA are more intertwined at Grand Slams so therefore you cannot go in separately like with PGA. PIF wants equity, not only events like Next Gen and potential WTA finals."


You may also like