Djokovic says men deserve more as tennis chief apologises for remarks

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DISSATISFIED with the uproar over Maria Sharapova’s positive drugs test and the game’s reputation being seriously marred by accusations of match-fixing and bribery, tennis has a new controversy on its hands.

World No1 Novak Djokovic has argued that men deserve more prize money than women as he waded into a storm in a Wimbledon teacup concerning comments made by the chief executive of the Indian Wells tournament.

Raymond Moore claimed the women’s game was riding “on the coattails” and that “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”

Commenting on the situation after his victory at Indian Wells Djokovic was characteristically diplomatic stating “Obviously it’s a very delicate situation. Women deserve respect and admiration for what they are doing. You know, equal prize money was the main subject of the tennis world in the last seven, eight years. I have been through that process as well so I understand how much power and energy WTA and all the advocates for equal prize money have invested in order to reach that.

“I applaud them for that, I honestly do. They fought for what they deserve and they got it. On the other hand I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches. I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.

Serena Williams, considered one of the best players in the history of the women’s game has argued the finer points of Raymond Moore’s argument. I don’t think that is a very accurate statement. I think there is a lot of women out there who are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men out there who are very exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways. I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.

“Last year the women’s final at the US Open sold out well before the men. I’m sorry, did Roger play in that final or Rafa or any man play in a final that was sold out before the men’s final? I think not. There’s only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not – we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.” she said. 

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