During an Instagram live chat with former teammate Mikhail Youzhny, former world number one Safin talked about the marketing potential of the sport if the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) merge.

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“Why not? It’s not a bad idea. There can be a joint product which will bring benefits. In that case the sponsorship package will be more attractive in comparison to tournaments where men and women play separately,” Safin said.

On the other hand the 40-year-old Safin outlined that without long-term leaders who could add intrigue to WTA tournaments, women’s tennis is less attractive for investors and sponsors.

Women’s tennis is less sellable, because men’s tennis rules in all kinds of ways. Many people don’t realize that women’s tennis is practically unsellable.

This is a key point: without Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, [and] Serena Williams, women’s tennis is unsellable,” the former Australian and US Open winner said.

Youzhny agreed with Safin’s suggestions, saying that he could barely remember top 10 women’s players despite following events.

Yes, I wouldn’t be able to name the women’s top 10, though I watch tennis events,” Youzhny said. “Probably I will tell you the names, but I don’t remember the rankings.”

Last week, Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer proposed uniting men’s and women’s tennis governing bodies as an attempt to overcome the global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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