ATP and WTA unite for new show on digital platforms

The Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association have joined forces to launch a new weekly programme on their digital platforms to try and offset the absence of live tennis action during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Entitled ‘Tennis United’, the show debuted on Friday and will be hosted by grand slam champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vasek Pospisil.

With the ATP and WTA suspending their tours until at least July 13, Tennis United will include interviews and discussions with players and other influential figures from throughout the game, along with a round-up of the week’s best social media posts.

Friday’s debut show opened with a special montage of player messages thanking key health workers that have been fighting Covid-19 on the front lines, followed by interviews with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Sofia Kenin, Jannik Sinner and Donna Vekic.

Launching on the ATP and WTA’s Facebook and YouTube channels, sections of the show are also being made available on Twitter and Instagram.

Tennis United is the latest example of sports bodies producing new content to engage fans during Covid-19. IMG Arena, the sports betting arm of the IMG agency, and ATP Media, the ATP Tour’s international media-rights sales and broadcast production arm, recently developed a virtual ATP Masters 1000 tennis product for the betting market.

The game has been created as bookmakers worldwide continue to be hit by the dearth of live sports action amid the ongoing pandemic. Freddie Longe, IMG Arena’s managing director, said that it is the “world’s first officially branded virtual tennis product”.