ATP Council member and World No.93 Vasek Pospisil has slammed Aussie maverick Nick Kyrgios for his opinion on the ATP and WTA merger.
Roger Federer sparked a frenzy when he called for a merger between the ATP Tour and WTA, with lower-level professionals in deep financial crisis because of the sport's shutdown due to the coronavirus.
‘FANBOYING’: Sharapova lifts the lid on date with Djokovic
Burt Kyrgios emphatically rejected Federer’s call to unite the men’s and women’s tennis tours under one governing body.
The Aussie slammed the idea asking if anyone had actually consulted the majority of the players.
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
We shouldn’t merge— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) April 23, 2020
Now, Canadian Pospisil has shut down Kyrgios’ claim because he says the Aussie has done ‘zero due diligence’ on the matter.
“A lot of players, or people in general, express an opinion without having any information, just because they feel like they want to say something, so I think that might be the case with Nick,” he said on the ‘Tennis in Depth’ program.
“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.
“So there are some guys like that and I’ll have no problem telling him that to his face, but again it raises eyebrows, and there are a lot of valid questions that need to be asked and answered, which I have.”
The Canadian claimed tennis ‘needs major change’ and praised World No.1 Novak Djokovic’s involvement since he took over the reigns as the president of the council.
“I’ve been really impressed with Novak, how much he cares for all the players,” he added.
Insight from @VasekPospisil on ...— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) May 5, 2020
* Why it'll be tough for tennis to return in 2020
* Response to ATP-WTA merger critics like Kyrgios
* Big 3 dynamic on Council
* Economic shake-up needed to help lower-ranked guys
In Depth feature with @rwesthead 👇https://t.co/lzMcUxJiJ5
“Even the lower-ranked guys. I don’t know if it is because of where he came from or how he grew up. I know that his family went through tough times when he was a kid, he really cares for all the players and the lower-ranked guys and so I give him so much respect and credit for trying to actually affect positive change.”
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.
Tennis enjoys a massive worldwide following but its governance remains fractious with as many as seven associations running different parts the game.
Federer’s call draws support
Federer's views drew support from past and present players.
“I agree, and have been saying so since the early 1970s. One voice, women and men together, has long been my vision for tennis,” American great Billie Jean King, who created the WTA in 1973, said on Twitter.
“The WTA on its own was always Plan B. I'm glad we are on the same page. Let's make it happen.”
Rafa Nadal, the other member of the so-called 'Big 3' alongside Federer and Novak Djokovic, also voiced his support.