Tennis is one of the only sports where men and women are paid equally at the Grand Slams. But they still face a lot of pay gaps at other tournaments and are paid a lot less for the same performance. This has been a subject of a lot of debate that they should have fairer pay in tournaments other than Grand Slams. In 2016, Novak Djokovic made a ghastly statement saying that men should be paid more. He said: “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.”
He defended the point by saying that both genders should fight for an increase in pay in terms of a fairer distribution of the funds, but he came under heavy fire for this statement and he was bashed by none other than the great Serena Williams who holds the record of the highest number of Grand Slams won in the Open Era regardless of the gender. She did not take this point lightly by Djokovic and said: “If I have a daughter who plays tennis and also have a son that plays tennis, I wouldn’t say that my son deserves more because he is a man. If they both started at three years old I would say they both deserve the same amount of money.”
Serena Williams retaliated against Djokovic’s horrific statement in 2016.
Williams also put forward a situation in front of Djokovic saying, “It is irrelevant. [Djokovic] is entitled to his opinion but if he has a daughter — I think he has a son right now — he should talk to her and tell her how his son deserves more money because he is a boy.” “It all boils down to that. I would never put a sex against another sex. I think it’s unfair to compare, we have had so many great women champions and players who have brought such great vision to the sport.”
“There have been great men players too, but women’s tennis is the biggest sport for women—period,” she added. Players have often talked about the huge disparity in pay gaps apart from the slams and this statement from Djokovic didn’t do women’s tennis any favors as they are still a lot underpaid than their male counterparts even though many women tennis players attract the same amount of crowd as the men do.
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