WASHINGTON, May 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Johanna Konta of Great Britain, who sits on the WTA player council, has been a vocal critic of sexism in sports. In her opinion, any merger involving the ATP and WTA – tennis’s governing bodies – would have to bring about financial parity.
“I don’t understand how it wouldn’t be of equals,” the World No. 14 said Tuesday during an interview with British tennis writers. “If we are talking about that, would it be us literally saying we are worth less than our male counterparts? It would have to be a merger of equals because that’s what we are. I wouldn’t see how right now in today’s age it would be allowed to be called anything else.”
Konta went on to say she thinks in the long run it makes sense for the ATP and WTA to be merged into one tour. “I makes logical sense but I also know there are a lot of moving parts to it. I know there will be a lot of people who won’t want it to happen but also a lot of people who do want it to happen.
“I think there is a long way between saying this is what should happen and this is what will happen. I am definitely for it and think it makes sense. I guess we will have to see what the people in suits are able to come up with.”
A year ago, Konta reached the semifinals at Roland Garros before losing to Marketa Vondrousova. This season, the 29-year-old Briton has struggled with a knee injury, winning just three of her seven matches. After bowing to eventual quarterfinalist Ons Jabeur in the first round of the Australian Open, Konta put together a nice run in Monterrey by reaching the semifinals before the coronavirus outbreak shut down pro tennis on the eve of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
During the pandemic lockdown, Konta started a podcast, “The Johanna Konta Podcast,” designed to give her a vehicle for reaching out to fans as well as to interview “amazing people” from the sports, business and entertainment fields.