Tennis: King, Federer, Nadal call for ATP, WTA merger

by NDO23 April 2020 Last updated at 14:00 PM

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning an exhibition match against Spain's Rafael Nadal at Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb 7, 2020. (Reuters)
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning an exhibition match against Spain's Rafael Nadal at Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb 7, 2020. (Reuters) - WTA founder Billie Jean King joined Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on Wednesday (Apr 22) in suggesting “now is the time” to merge the men's ATP and women's body into one umbrella organisation to oversee the two professional tennis tours.

Federer, holder of the men's record of 20 Grand Slams, was the first to raise the notion on his Twitter feed, triggering an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from King and Nadal.

* Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will join US football quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in a charity golf match next month, media company Turner Sports said on Wednesday. No more details of the event were given, but it is expected to be a two-on-two contest, and there is widespread speculation it will be held at a Florida course.

* West Ham United and Crystal Palace have indefinitely postponed their July tour to Queensland, Australia because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, both Premier League clubs announced on Wednesday.

* Chess legends including Russia's Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik will next month take part in a new online world team tournament as the game makes moves to carry on despite the global coronavirus shutdown. Six teams will compete in the Online Nations Cup from May 5-10 with former world champion Viswanathan Anand featuring for India.

* Peru's football federation has said it will set up a million-dollar fund to help first and second division clubs counter the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

* The Swiss football league (SFL) says it has submitted a detailed plan to the government, drawn up in co-operation with health experts, for the possible resumption of training and matches in the aftermath of the coronavirus shutdown. The Swiss government last week announced a gradual end to restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, which raised hopes the football season, suspended on March 2, could get underway again in the near future.

* Cycling's governing body the UCI has signed the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework as it continues its push to became one of the world's most environmentally friendly sports. More than 100 sports federations, including Formula 1, soccer and rugby, are signatories to the Framework which commits them to five principles to carbon footprints.

* The 2020 St. Andrews Trophy, scheduled to take place in Wales from July 23-24, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the R&A and the European Golf Association said on Wednesday. The tournament, contested between amateur golfers representing Britain & Ireland and Europe, was first staged in 1956 and has been held every two years since. The next edition of the tournament will now be played on July 21-22, 2022 in Slovakia.

* Michael O'Neill has left his job as Northern Ireland manager after eight years in charge due to the proposed rescheduling of international fixtures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish Football Association said on Wednesday.

* The World Snooker Championship, originally scheduled for Apr 18 to May 4, will start on Jul 31 at the Crucible Theatre, the World Snooker Tour (WST) said on Wednesday. The 17-day season-ending showpiece was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought global sport to a standstill.

* Paris St Germain's Neymar and Liverpool's Alisson are among the Brazilian players and coaches who have joined forces with the country's football federation (CBF) to donate almost a million dollars to families facing economic hardship due the new COVID-19 pandemic. The group of 57 players and staff, also including former Barcelona right back Daniel Alves, donated 2.5 million reais (£375,632) while the CBF met their contribution, according to the organisation.

* Watford players have agreed a wage deferral as the Premier League club tackles the financial fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

* The Italian government is still not ready to set a date for Serie A teams to start training again ahead of a possible resumption of the league, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Wednesday (Apr 22). Spadafora, speaking after a meeting with the Italian football federation (FIGC), the Serie A league and players and referees' associations, said a decision would be made in the next few days.

* Wales captain Gareth Bale and his wife have donated 500,000 pounds (US$615,900) to a Welsh health charity to help in the fight against coronavirus, he said on Wednesday. The Cardiff-born Bale, who plays for Real Madrid, and his wife Emma have donated the money to the charitable arm of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.


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