Tennis: Canada's Pospisil hits out at Kyrgios for merger opposition

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Canada’s Vasek Pospisil has hit back at Nick Kyrgios for opposing the proposal to merge the men’s ATP and women’s WTA tennis tours, saying the Australian did not have enough information to comment on the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Davis Cup Finals - Semi-Final - Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain - November 23, 2019 Canada's Vasek Pospisil in action during his match against Russia's Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Susana Vera

Roger Federer called for a merger between the two governing bodies last month, with both ATP Tour Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi and his WTA counterpart Steve Simon welcoming the suggestion.

Rafa Nadal, the other member of the so-called ‘Big 3’ alongside Federer and Novak Djokovic, also voiced his support as did many other past and present players.

However, outspoken Australian Nick Kyrgios was not enthused.

“Did anyone ask the majority of the ATP what they think about merging with the WTA and how it is good for us?” the world number 40 wrote on social media, before adding “we shouldn’t merge.”

World number 93 Pospisil, who sits on the ATP Players Council, termed Kyrgios’ comments as ill-informed.

“You know what, it’s because a lot of players express, or people in general, will express an opinion without having any information, just because they feel like they want to say something,” Pospisil told TSN In Depth. “That might be the case with Nick.

“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. There are some guys like that and I’ll have no problem telling him that to his face.

“But again it raises eyebrows, there are a lot of valid questions that need to be asked and answered, which I have.”

As many as seven associations govern different parts of tennis. Besides the ATP and the WTA Tours, the sport is also controlled by the International Tennis Federation and the boards of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

They all joined forces in recent weeks to raise more than $6 million for a player relief fund that will target about 800 singles and doubles players collectively on the men’s and women’s tours, who need financial support during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Djokovic, who heads the ATP Players Council, of which Federer and Nadal are also members, gave a rallying cry to his fellow professionals to contribute to the fund.

Pospisil said the ‘Big 3’ were all very strong individuals but they overall worked “really well” together.

“I’ve been really impressed with Novak, how much he cares for all the players,” the Canadian added.

“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.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge