AP – Andy Murray doesn’t agree with Novak Djokovic but did his best to hose down the war of words over women’s pay in tennis as the ATP and WTA tours began another joint event, the Miami Masters.
World No.2 Murray, coached by Amelie Mauresmo after first being brought to the game by his mother, is understandably a firm supporter of women in the sport.
“Women should have equal pay, 100 per cent…the whole thing is pretty disappointing,” said the Scot, speaking on the same day Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore quit his post with the ATP and WTA event over the furore he sparked.
Murray also addressed subsequent comments from world No.1 Djokovic, who said that the marketplace should determine earnings – and that men generally bring in more spectators than do women.
“Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and he did say that if women are selling more tickets they should earn more,” Murray said of Djokovic’s remarks.
“But if Serena Williams (is) playing on centre court and the men’s match is someone like (world No.105 Sergiy) Stakhovsky, then people are coming to watch Williams play.”
Murray said Moore put his foot in it when he said that women players rode “on the coat-tails of the men” and were “very, very lucky” to have equal prize money thanks to the massive popularity of men’s stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“Men’s tennis has been lucky over the past nine or 10 years with the rivalries that have developed, Murray said.
“But it’s the whole world of tennis that should capitalise.”
World No.1 Serena Williams addressed the issue again, saying that if she had one child of each gender, with both playing tennis, “I would never say my son deserves more money. That would be a shocking thing to say.
“I’d never put one sex against the other. There have been so many great women’s champions who have brought so much vision to the sport.
“Tennis is the biggest sport for women. It’s not the biggest sport for men, but it’s still huge.”