Monday 7 June 2021 2:40 pm

Private equity giant CVC in talks to invest in OneTennis, a proposed merger between of the men's ATP Tour and women's WTA Tour

CVC Capital Partners is in talks to buy a stake in a proposed new entity that combines the men’s and women’s tennis tours, according to reports.

OneTennis would unify the ATP Tour and WTA Tour under one organisation, with CVC taking a minority shareholding in the new commercial vehicle.

Approval for the merger could come as soon as this month, reports Sky News.

CVC has stepped up its interest in sport during the pandemic, striking deals in rugby union and volleyball.

It held a majority stake in Formula 1 from 2006 until 2017, when Liberty Media bought the series.

Like most sports, tennis has been badly affected by Covid-19, with many tournaments on both the men’s and women’s tours cancelled or played without spectators.

A proposed merger to form OneTennis would promise to create more commercial opportunities for the sport.

Tennis also faces a battle to attract young fans and has been accused of being too stuffy.

Organisers of the four grand slam tournaments were criticised last week for threatening to ban Naomi Osaka after the women’s No2 refused to take part in press conferences.