The issue of prize money has been a regular topic of conversation within the tennis community in recent years.
Since 2007, there has been equal pay for male and female players at all-four Grand Slams, but there is a vast disparity in the prize money offered at women-only tournaments compared to men-only competitions.
A few weeks ago, Spanish legend Rafael Nadal gave a controversial interview with Italian magazine Lo Donna, where he claimed that it’s right that men earn more than women in the sport, comparing it to female models earning more than male models.
Well, legend of the women's game Venus Williams has had her say on the big debate and reacted to Nadal's headline-grabbing comments.
“I don’t know anything about modelling," she said, per Tennis USA. "I guess that’s a metaphor that makes sense to him. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
“Men have to want it as much as women. That’s very important. We have to raise our sons in a way so that they see women as equals.”
Nadal isn’t the first player to talk like this. In 2015, Novak Djokovic made similar comments about pay, justifying why women get paid less by stating:
“I think that, in our men’s tennis world, ATP world, we should fight for more, because the stats are showing that we have many 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.”
The comments from Djokovic sparked criticism from Venus’ sister Serena, who quickly voiced her opinion on the Serbian’s statement.
She said: “I think there are 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. Those remarks (by Djokovic) are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.”
The debate on equal pay has been on-going for many years now and changes will have to be made in the near future should the ITF wish the sport to continue to grow and expand.
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