The coach of Serena Williams makes his call for a unified body that better represents the needs of all players. Patrick Mouratoglou has echoed the familiar—and growing—call for tennis to solve its leadership issues and come together in a unified front to help the sport survive the Coronavirus pandemic. The coach of Serena Williams and owner of the Patrick Mouratoglou Tennis Academy took to social media to voice his frustration with inequality among the ranks of tennis pros, saying “I find it revolting that the 100th-best player of one of the most popular sports in the world—followed by an estimated one billion fans—is barely able to make a living out of it.”
My letter to the tennis community to raise awareness about the current situation of players out of the Top100. pic.twitter.com/mFTIECxOFL
— Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) April 7, 2020
Mouratoglou says that the tours need to invest in ensuring that the players who don’t make enough money to survive the Coronavirus shut down are provided with the means to bridge the gap so that they may return to the sport.
He says players outside of the top 100 need, and deserve, help.
“It is time to think about those players and to help them, first in the immediate future, then in the long term,” wrote Mouratoglou. “For this reason I would love to see the ATP, the WTA, the ITF and the Grand Slams sit together to try and find a sustainable solution. We all rely on those governing bodies who have the power to protect the professional tennis economy and hold social responsibility.”
Over the years the governing bodies of tennis have developed a reputation for fragmented responses and self-serving agendas. The players themselves have yet to find a voice and calls for unionizing have not materialized. Certainly there are too many ladles stirring the soup, but not enough of a consensus for change. In these difficult times, there have been consistently forceful cries for the formation of a unified front to move the sport forward. The calls grew even stronger when the French Tennis Federation made the bold, unilateral move to reschedule Roland Garros without the consent of the other affected parties.
As of now the talk continues, with each voice raising the volume closer to an as yet to be indentified tipping point.
“We can’t leave lower-ranked players behind anymore,” Mouratoglou said. “This isn’t right. Tennis needs change. Let’s use this free time to start a discussion.”