The One Game Approach
5. Posted By Craig Sheppard:
Q: Do you have any firm plans to coordinate more ATP events and WTA events to be at the same time and venue? If not, what is the major hurdle--the size of the venue, not enough time to fit all matches in, sponsorship issues, etc.? Even further, has their been any discussion about merging the ATP & WTA? I know I as well as many other fans take much more interest in an event when both the men and women are playing in the same place.
A: Craig, the past few years have seen an rapid growth in combined (men's and women's) events on the international tennis calendar. Sydney, Auckland, Memphis, Acapulco, Rome, Washington, Cincinnati, New Haven, Beijing to name a few have joined ATP Masters Series events Indian Wells and Miami as well as the Grand Slams in hosting both the men and the women, many during the same week. While this presents a tournament organizer with tremendous logistical challenges at times (not the least of which is having an appropriate venue or facility which can accommodate such a large undertaking), most feel the added value it brings to their fans make it worth the effort.
As for merging the ATP and WTA, while the concept has been discussed by some, neither player group seems eager to make it happen. You know, men are from Mars, women are from Venus. However, there are areas of the game, mostly behind the scenes, where the two tours are working more closely together than ever before. It has been called the "One Game" approach.