Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray joked Rafael Nadal should not be a "bad loser" after handing him a pasting at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro before urging patience for the real tennis tours to return.

Murray and Nadal had each come through their virtual openers on Monday but it was the Briton who came out on top in their duel, dropping just one point in a 3-0 win.

After their online contest, Murray gave a fist pump to the camera while Nadal gave a quick thumbs up before hastily logging off.

In a post-match interview, Murray said: "If you speak to Rafa, tell him not to be such a bad loser next time!"

On his chances of winning the whole thing, he added: "I think I have a chance, for sure."

Murray later defeated Denis Shapavolov to reach the quarter-finals unbeaten, while Nadal suffered another defeat to Benoit Paire.

Three-time grand slam winner Murray was later quizzed about the challenges facing global sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis has been heavily affected with the ATP and WTA Tours postponed until at least mid-July, while Wimbledon was cancelled for 2020 and the French Open rescheduled for September.

Some have predicted that neither tour will recommence this year and Murray says public health and the return of normal day-to-day activities must take precedence over sport's return.

"I'm sure all tennis players want to get back to competing and playing as soon as possible. But right now that is not the most important thing," Murray said.

"First of all, we want to get our normal lives back, just being able to go out, see friends, go to restaurants and have your normal freedoms. 

"And then hopefully over time things will start to allow for travelling and sport will be able to go back to normal as well. But I don't see that happening very soon. 

"The first thing is to try and find a way to stop the virus spreading and once we've done that we'll be able to do more and more normal things rather than thinking about competing in sport. 

"A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players want to be competing. 

"It's entertaining and it's something that lots of people enjoy. When you don't get to see it for a while, people realise how much they love playing and watching it.

"But just because it's difficult not to have sport just now doesn't mean we have to speed things up. 

"Let's just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully then all of the countries can sort out the virus properly. 

"I'm obviously no expert on this but I assume the danger is when you go back to trying to do things too quickly like avoiding social distancing and then if we get back to international travel, then maybe there could be a second wave of infections and that maybe that would slow everything down again. 

"That's not what anyone wants. Let's just try and get things back to normal first and then we can think about playing sport again."

Andy Murray's in-match commentary was a highlight on day one of the Madrid Open Virtual Pro, while Rafael Nadal made a winning start.

The Madrid Open should have taken place in the Spanish capital in May but the coronavirus pandemic forced the clay-court tournament to be postponed.

But, 16 ATP and 16 WTA Tour players swapped their racquets for PlayStation 4 controllers this week, with tennis suspended until at least mid-July.

The virtual Madrid Open got underway on Monday, with former world number one and three-time grand slam champion Murray providing plenty of entertainment.

Murray won his first match in Group 1, defeating Frenchman Benoit Paire in an eventful clash.

"Where is my player going? Where are you going?!," Murray said during the match.

"Ahh, get there! Get there!... My hands are sweating."

World number two Nadal also won his opener, overcoming Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov 4-3 [4-3].

Nadal's video-game performance came after Davis Cup team-mate and Madrid Open Virtual Pro tournament director Feliciano Lopez joked that the 19-time major winner asked to postpone his first match.

Lopez later tweeted: "Guys, I was joking, of course... I said Rafa had a back injury from the pressure of playing on the PS4. We might need some sense of humour please!"

Elsewhere, Diego Schwartzman claimed back-to-back wins in Group 2 over David Ferrer and John Isner, while Stefanos Tsitsipas booked his spot in the quarter-finals with victories against Kei Nishikori and Fabio Fognini.

In the women's competition, Caroline Wozniacki – who retired from the WTA Tour following the Australian Open – came through both her Group 3 matches and Sorana Cirstea tops Group 2.

Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem has poured scorn on plans for a tennis coronavirus relief fund by saying he will only help out people "that really need it".

World number three Thiem doubts any tennis players will be truly suffering from the break in competition, and said there are competitors down the rankings who lack commitment.

Handouts are likely to be directed to those outside the top 250 on the men's tour, with the fund to be managed by the ATP and WTA, which run the men's and women's tours.

The plan was first revealed by Novak Djokovic, the ATP player council president and world number one.

It has been backed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with leading players urged to pay more into the pot than those lower down the rankings, with the aim of building a multi-million dollar fund.

The professional tennis tours, including those at a low level, are on hold until mid-July at the earliest, with Wimbledon cancelled and the French Open postponed until a late-September start.

But Austrian Thiem does not like the idea of giving up his own money, telling the Kronen Zeitung newspaper: "I know the Futures Tour and played there for two years. There are a lot of people who don't give everything to sport.

"I don't see why I should give money to such people. I would prefer to donate to people or institutions that really need it."

Thiem, 26, who has career on-court earnings approaching $24million, added: "None of us top people got it as a gift. We had to fight our way up.

"I'm not guaranteed in any profession to make a lot of money at some point.

"No tennis players are fighting for survival, not even the ones down below. Nobody has to starve."

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says tennis could be transformed by the improved relationships that have sprung from the coronavirus crisis.

Gaudenzi was speaking in the wake of Roger Federer suggesting a merger between the ATP and WTA, which respectively run the men's and women's tours, would bolster the game.

While former tour pro Gaudenzi gave away nothing in that respect, he believes all parties, including the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the grand slams, can learn from recent experiences.

Gaudenzi said: "Managing the current scenario is extremely complex, especially because of the nature of our calendar, the nature of our business.

"But I'm optimistic in general, by nature, and I try to see the positive side which has been a tremendous collaboration with the other grand slams and the WTA and the ITF.

"So all the bodies coming together and discussing the calendar, the way forward, player relief, and many, many other topics.

"So that could be the positive outcome of this, that finally the governing bodies of tennis and the grand slams get together and work collaboratively on the long-term future of the sport."

Federer spoke out on Wednesday, to a mixed response.

The 20-time grand slam winner said of a possible merger: "It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time."

Writing on Twitter, Federer added: "These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body."

The tennis tours are on hold until mid-July at the earliest, with the French Open having been moved to a September start and Wimbledon cancelled.

Roger Federer has been accused of pulling a stunt to win new Twitter followers after proposing a merger between the men's and women's tennis tours.

The surprising claim came from German Tennis Federation (DTB) vice-president Dirk Hordorff, who is well known for having coached Rainer Schuttler, Janko Tipsarevic and Vasek Pospisil.

Federer mooted the possibility this week of bringing both the ATP and WTA tours under the governance of a singular body, and he was backed by Rafael Nadal.

Swiss great Federer, who has won a record 20 men's grand slam singles titles, said a merger "probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time".

He suggested tennis could emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic with unified leadership and found support from the likes of all-time great Billie Jean King and reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.

However, Hordorff, who alongside his coaching has built careers in business and sports administration, says Federer's suggestion lacked "substance" and questioned his motivations.

Hordorff told Stats Perform: "That's short thinking. That's not enough. It starts with the ITF [International Tennis Federation] and the grand slams. That's where you start.

"With a merger of ATP and WTA, no problem has been solved for the time being.

"It is also critical to demand this in these media-free times. He just needs more followers on his Twitter account. So, he uses a proposal without substance.

"I am in favour of discussing this whole issue with substance. But a message on Twitter can't seriously bring this forward."

Federer has 12.7million followers on Twitter, while the ATP has 1.5million and the WTA has 834,000. Wimbledon has 3.7million followers, more than any other grand slam.

Federer has gained only approximately 1,000 new followers since making his merger suggestion on Wednesday, according to analysis from the Socialbakers website.

Tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal think it is time for a merger of the ATP and WTA Tours.

Both the men's (ATP) and women's (WTA) professional games are suspended until at least mid-July due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Swiss great Federer pondered the possibility of bringing both tours under the governance of a singular body with a post on Twitter.

"Just wondering am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men's and women's tennis to be united and come together as one?" Federer asked.

"I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the 2 governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men's and women's professional tours."

Federer's long-time on-court adversary Nadal quote-tweeted his proposal and said he is in agreement.

He wrote: "Hey @rogerfederer as you know per our discussions I completely agree that it would be great to get out of this world crisis with the union of men's and women's tennis in one organisation."

Federer had expanded on his musings to a reply from a supporter's account, explaining that he feels bringing the tours together will provide greater clarity for followers.

"It's too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories," he wrote.

The COVID-19 outbreak is causing financial difficulties for professional players further down the rankings.

In a further post, Federer added: "It probably should have happened a long time ago, but maybe now is really the time. 

"These are tough times in every sport and we can come out of this with 2 weakened bodies or 1 stronger body."

Coco Gauff's parents have allayed concerns about the teenage sensation's mental health after she spoke of struggling with depression.

Gauff shot to prominence last year with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon in her maiden grand slam appearance aged only 15.

The American won her first WTA singles title in Linz last season and reached round four of the Australian Open three months ago.

Gauff told 'Behind the Racquet' that she found it difficult to cope with so much expectation at such a young age and had considered taking a year out of the game.

The world number 52 said she had been "really depressed" for about a year, but her father told the New York Times that she had not been diagnosed with depression.

Corey Gauff, one of the prodigy's coaches, said: "That's the thing that was alarming [stating she had been depressed], and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up.

"She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression."

He added: "There’s no medicine going on. This is a kid's personal pressure that they put on themselves and how they deal with it and how they mature."

Candi Gauff believes her daughter's defeats of older opponents on the junior circuit may have come at a cost.

She said: "That led to loneliness at the tournaments, which leads to sadness, so for a period of time she was unhappy.

"I don’t want to say the word 'jealousy', but it was a spirit of, 'Why is this young girl winning?' So she was isolated."

Candi Gauff also thinks Coco may have felt she had been missing out when she was able to see what other children had been up to on social media, having been home-schooled since third grade.

She said: "You are seeing other kids posting photos of going to these high school events, and you're wondering what would life be like if I didn't play tennis."

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