Novak Djokovic adds fuel to prize money and gender debate

Tennis orld number one Novak Djokovic believes men should be awarded more prize money than women following a row sparked by comments from chief executive of Indian Wells, Raymond Moore.
Novak Djokovic adds fuel to prize money and gender debate

Speaking ahead of the BNP Paribas Final between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, Mr Moore said the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was a “lucky organisation” which “rides on the coattails” of the men.

“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,” he said.

“They really have.”

Mr Moore later apologised for his comments that were in “poor taste and erroneous” but the damage had been done by then and Djokovic added fuel to the fire.

Speaking after his win over Milos Raonic in the men’s final, the Serb said women deserve the money they get, but men should fight for more because their game attracts more viewers.

“I applaud them for that, I honestly do,” he said.

“They fought for what they deserve and they got it. On the other hand, I think 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.”

Djokovic insisted he was not entering a men versus women debate and accepted that women face more challenges than men to succeed in the game, including battling “hormones”.

“I have tremendous respect for what women in sport are achieving,” he added.

“Their bodies are different to men’s bodies. They have to go through a lot of different things that we don’t have to go through. You know, the hormones and different stuff, we don’t need to go into details.”

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox