Let’s Talk About Equal Prize Money In Tennis, Ray Moore And Novak Djokovic
by Sean Randall | March 21st, 2016, 2:22 pm
  • 50 Comments

Unfortunately, the tennis news from yesterday wasn’t about the impressive wins at Indian Wells by Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka. Instead, it was about the egregious comments made by tournament chief Ray Moore. Yes, it’s been that kind of year in tennis.

By now, we know what Moore said. And it’s something for a guy in that position you cannot say. Specifically, the part about “If I’m the WTA I’m getting on my knees to thank God that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born.”

The intent was right, the delivery was 100% wrong. And seeing the firestorm everywhere, he’s probably going to lose his job over it.

Serena, Vika, Billie Jean, the WTA, etc, were all correct to take offense to the language he used. But let’s be honest, he’s right in a way.

THE ENTIRE TENNIS COMMUNITY IS RIDING THE COATTAILS OF FEDERER AND NADAL.

The ATP of course is. The WTA is, too. The Slams are, the Masters, the Challengers and hell, even this blog are all beneficiaries of Federer/Nadal. So we should all be thankful for the fact we got those two plus in recent years Novak Djokovic who has emerged as a serious threat to their legendary status.

As we say, it’s a Golden Age with three men having double digit Slams.

Without Roger and Rafa, who knows if Larry Ellison would have invested in Indian Wells, or there would be as many tournaments as there are now or even if as many would be available on TV.

Tennis, like golf which benefited from the “Tiger Effect” or the NBA reaped the reward of Michael Jordan, is a star-driven sport. So having them around undeniably helps everyone in tennis (well, except their opponents, I guess).

So Moore’s comment on the topic wasn’t completely off base, he just shouldn’t have it the way did using those sexist remarks.

Of course the WTA does have, as Moore also said, their own superstars in Serena and Maria Sharapova. So I wouldn’t say they desperately needed Roger/Rafa the last 10 years or so, but having them does add to their bottom line.

Moore then got into further trouble discussing the future of the WTA, something I’ve also expressed concern about. Post Serena/Sharapova, which could come as early as the end of next year I think, there’s no one ready to carry the torch. That’s the consensus. But Moore pointed to two “attractive” players in Garbine Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard instead of say a Simona Halep or a Madison Keys who are more obvious choices based on results. Uh oh.

While he backtracked on that comment, we all know what he was saying, and again he’s right. But again because of his position he can’t say those kinds of things.

In this world sex sells. Everyone knows it. Moore knows it. The WTA knows it and the players do too. And look at the endorsements numbers, it’s Serena, Sharapova and then Caroline Wozniacki? Why is Wozniacki in there? Hmmm. Do I really need to get into this? Sadly, that’s just how it more or less is in women’s sport: Appearance often trumps accomplishment.

So Moore has alienated himself from half the pro players, specifically the WTA and he’s going to either have to resign or get let go. It’s that simple. But if he does lose his job, maybe he can work for the men’s tour. I’m sure they’d welcome him with open arms (I’m joking… maybe). And that’s because of what Djokovic said.

First, I have to credit Djokovic for saying something that probably on a lot of players the ATP think but don’t dare discuss in public (Moore didn’t say it outright, but he implied it). And that is that the men should get more of the prize share than the women. And I will be very, very interested to hear in the coming days how Djokovic’s contemporaries like Federer, Nadal and Murray handle that question in Miami. I’m sure the ATP is sending around PR points as I write, maybe readying for battle or taking the PC position.

And I agree with Djokovic because right now men’s tennis has a much bigger following than the women’s game. There’s no debate. It’s not close. Just reading the stories, seeing the comments, the overall buzz factor and watching on TV (more empties at women’s matches than men’s), it’s men’s tennis.

And the ATP tour has more total prize money than the WTA. Why? Because the market says so. You are what your can get and right now men’s tennis gets more because they are the better, more appealing product. And that’s in large part thanks to Federer and Nadal.

Just look at Indian Wells, for example. The women had the first Wednesday to all to themselves, but once the men’s tournament began see what happened to the division of matches on Stadium 1 and Stadium 2. You would assume they’d be equally divided between WTA and ATP, right? Wrong!

2016 Indian Wells Matches on Stadium 1 and 2
Thursday: 6 men, 3 women
Friday: 7 men, 4 women
Saturday: 7 men, 4 women
Sunday: 7 men, 4 women

Over the first four days of Indian Wells when both draws were playing the men had 27 matches on the big two show courts, the women had 15. Does that sound equal? No. And remember the men’s seeds didn’t even start play until Saturday!

So why did that happen?

If it’s TV contractual thing, then how come the men have the better TV deal? Who’s fooling who here?

That all said, as I read somewhere or saw a headline, the pendulum will swing back in favor of the women’s tour. Just last summer Serena was the talk of sporting world – and that’s why US Open women’s final sold out – and down the road maybe we’ll see the interest shift to women’s game like it was in the late 90s when Serena and Venus were emerging and there was Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Anna Kournikova, etc.

Even then, this debate will never stop. And that’s a good thing.

As for the sport, I just hope we can move on and just have a controversy-free tournament. Miami, you listening?


You Might Like:
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Novak Djokovic: Men Should Get More Prize Money Than Women Since We Sell More Tickets Right Now
Novak Djokovic Agrees, Indian Wells Should Be At A Level Higher Than Masters 1000
Roger Federer: I Support Equal Prize Money, But It’s Also Up To The Tournaments
Federer Says He’ll Investigate Why The ATP Turned Down An $800K Infusion Into Indian Wells Prize Money

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50 Comments for Let’s Talk About Equal Prize Money In Tennis, Ray Moore And Novak Djokovic

Ben Pronin Says:

So the prize money should fluctuate every couple of years?


MMT Says:

First, I think you make an excellent point about coat tails – Federer and Nadal’s do appear to be long enough for everyone to ride, including the ATP. It wasn’t but 14 years ago they were decrying the paucity of interest in the men’s game when the Venus and Serena show nearly took over tennis, and now the tables are turned, but it could easily turn again.

This is largely irrelevant to the question of prize money, however. If one were to extent the logic of this analysis, that we all owe everything to Fedal, then prize money shouldn’t be increased for the grinders, it should stay in the latter rounds – or worse, they should all be paid based on their fan appeal. The current format of tennis obviously does not support this, and going to a 1v1 boxing model would, in my opinion, destroy tennis just as it has destroyed boxing.

The real question is not whether prize money should be equal at the non-majors (which I think is a different calculation based on the variations in competitive format). The real question is whether the events should be bundled? Qui bono?

The grinders of each gender.

Sharapova made a great point a couple of years ago that Gilles Simon had some nerve asking for more prize money when if his dog had a chance, he’d probably prefer to watch her play. But the same could be said of anyone on the women’s side not named Maria or Serena…or Venus…maybe.

The truth is that the also-rans are all riding the coat tails of the top players, and neither should be complaining about equal prize money because if they put their money where their mouth is, they’d soon discover that neither can live at their current spending levels without the other.

I think a hybrid solution could be to split the men’s and women’s matches on different days and sell tickets separately. There’d still be a sharing of interest, but then you’d have little basis for claiming ephemerally that one is more deserving of the prize money than the other.

Personally I like watching tennis when both men and women are playing…I have my reasons. And I don’t mind shelling out a little more money get my fix of the appeal of either event. But tennis is a business, and they’re not stupid. Both tours know that this is a win-win, and the men are simply negotiating for a better deal. If I were the women, I’d call their bluff and let the chips fall where they may.

In the end, I think the worst that would happen is that either the WTA or the ATP (or both) would be forced to admit that they need each other.


MMT Says:

Actually, since most of the money comes from TV anyway, I thin splitting the events would make it even easier to properly account for “correct” proportion of prize money.


Lifetime Tennis Fan Says:

Lack of formal makes people subscribe to outdated, right-wing views. Moore and Djokovic’s case is a classic example of that.
Why should Djokovic be saying somebody else should be getting paid less when it is not even affecting his paycheck; when it is not PR savvy thing to say; and when it would be unmistakeably perceived as negative, discrimination about whole gender?


Lifetime Tennis Fan Says:

Missing word is “education”.
A classic example of lack of education.


Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, I think we’re finally on the same. Splitting the events would settle this debate. But as you mention, what happens when the ATP loses their big stars and enters another muddled period? Whose coattails will they ride?


Sean Randall Says:

Ben, doesn’t compensation fluctuate in the real world?

MMT, I think tournaments understandably like the appeal of combined events, so it’s going to be tough to put that genie back in the bottle. And splitting over days would be a nightmare ticket and tv-wise.

But privately, I’d bet 80% of men’s player ARE NOT in favor of combined events. That’s because the women take up space, use courts and of course, get a chuck, sometimes half, of the prize money.

And guess what, they – the men – probably feel the same way about the men’s doubles event.

But years from now, when the men are lacking star power and their prize money is eroding, maybe they will want to re-align with the women.


chrisford1 Says:

If people oppose Djokovic’s remarks “”Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.” on PC and being detrimental to equality grounds – then they oppose the right of people in a union (ATP) to collectively bargain.

The super star system only goes so far in generating interest, and its not all Superstar stuff. Henman, the intelligent play of Hingis, Li Na, Jo Tsonga all add. Plus tons of others.
Football, (soccer to Americans) is a good example – superstars are the icing on the cake, but it starts with just about everyone playing as a kid, then getting behind their local club(s), country teams, pro leagues, the few megasuperstars come last of all. The gambling market helps. The rise of satellite TV is huge. In tennis, there is more than worship of a duopoly. People of all races can compete, it allows females to have a sport in which they get TV time and a large fanbase. That’s rare in sports outside when the female pole vaulters, ice skaters, gymnasts get their brief moment in the sun.

I believe Djokovic’s entire commentary will sit well in both locker rooms. Might not with feminists playing the game. Which is “I’m constantly shocked, outraged, deeply hurt and offended but as a survivor victim of remarks made things will be fine if the man who said it is fired…” (It’s a tried and true passive aggressive power lay. To stifle free speech under PC)

In the locker rooms the notion that men have a right to fight for their compensation and compensation structure in unions? No argument, I bet. Novaks saying he backs women who have to face challenges in day in and day out performances from hormone, other issues? No argument or shock! outrage! hurtful offense! likely to come from the gals. The WTA is not a women’s studies dept at university, a cabal of feminist lawyers seeking more power and control and naturally money – from quotas and forced “female empowerment” or a militant lesbian activist front – which it did skirt association with back in the day of Billie Jean King.


Ben Pronin Says:

Are sports really the real world?

Prize money just continues to go up year after year. Do you suggest that the WTA and ATP start negotiating prize money with each combined event every year the way NFL players negotiate their contracts during free agency?

Or no negotiations and just looking at the stats? I’m also curious about the stats they could look at. The US Open women’s final was sold out before the tournament even started last year with the fans expecting to see Serena in the final. But she didn’t make it. But fans still showed up. How do you go about determining what they showed up for?


George Says:

I think that this is a complex issue that is not confined strictly to business. There are also social and other aspects of this question. A lot of expertise and thinking through would be required if this is to be open. From outside, things look OK as they are now (don’t fix it if it ain’t broken?). Regarding Djokovic, he just refused to join gangbang of Moore. Therefore, he said something along middle grounds and tried to be diplomatic, but his words were distorted by some media (deliberately or not?), which was unfair. Moore’s problem is that he raised his opinion in an inappropriate way and I do believe that his position is difficult, possibly untenable.


Wog Boy Says:

I am all for being equal, even in courts when we are fighting fir the custody of our kids after divorce, man doesn’t stand a chance to have a custody unless he can prove that mother is unfit ti raise the kids, and than blackmailed by mothers when he can visit or have his own kids as a sort of revenge, in most cases…yes, we are equal, but what about fathers rights?


Sean Randall Says:

Ben, I’m sure the US Open or most of the big events has easily accessible data to pull up average tickets sold for women’s final v men’s final the last 10 years. They can also compare TV ratings.

And I’m sure they ask the fans via surveys who they prefer to see when they attend the event.


Srekutica Says:

If we have two group of people who work for the same company and first group ,on annual level, brings 10 million dollar to the company while second group brings 5 million dollar to the company then the question is why should we give the second group the same salary as the first ???


Ben Pronin Says:

Sean, I don’t know about all events, but at the US Open, if you go during the early rounds, you can buy a grounds pass or Ashe ticket or Armstrong ticket. There are no “ATP” or “WTA” tickets. Are you going to determine prize money distribution based on ticket sales of the last few rounds? That’s not sufficient enough data to reach any kind of fair conclusion.

And as far as surveys go, I mean, again, that’s just not sufficient data.


Andy Says:

I understand the reasoning of those who want men to have greater prize money because they sell more tickets and have higher viewership. However, I don’t think it could ever be done in a reasonable and fair way. If we start giving men more prize money because they bring in more revenue, then why shouldn’t we give the superstar men more prize money than other men who reach the same round? Should Cilic and Nishikori get less prize money for reaching the US Open finals because the ticket sales and TV viewership for their match was much less than those for a Federer-Djokovic final? Should Federer earn more money for a 4th round exit than Granollers because his matches all had much more viewership? Clearly we would start having a ridiculous situation. I say equal prize money for for equal results (both men and women), and let the endorsements/appearance fees reward those who bring in more revenue/viewership, as it does already.


Margot Says:

Seconded from me Andy.


J-Kath Says:

Late to the party Andy? No! Timing perfect.


Frank Says:

So Ray Moore was sacrificed on the alter of political correctness…The use of “political correctness” has always appalled me, reminding me of Orwell’s “Thought Police” and fascist regimes

No wonder Donald Trump is so popular.


Sean Randall Says:

Andy, it’s never been done? Washington and Cincinnati are two combined events that pay the men more. Rome is another one.

And hell, Sydney women’s get paid more than Sydney men. So it’s not an issue.

Ben, the US Open can look at ticket sales for the US Open men’s SFs v the women’s. Those are on different days. Different ratings.

Not that hard and it does show overall interest, as do surveys.

Sponsors are not simply throwing money at tennis. They are doing research and analysis on demographics, etc. They have the data.


chrisford1 Says:

Pronin and Serena both touted the female Final as selling out tickets faster than the men’s, and Serena has said that the female USO final “‘out rated the men”.

Behind that of course, was the truth of CBS-ESPN bungling. For several years, ending finally in 2015, the women were given the best TV slot time in the interests of “equality”. (To help grow interest in the woman’s game) Scheduled Sunday afternoon to hit most media markets. The men were assigned for years to 5-8 PM on Monday, on a normal workday. Most Americans were at work or returning from work when the match started. A considerable part of the affluent crowd of the weekend had gone back to their law practices and boardrooms.
And of course, ticket sales at the USO have been brought back to Wall Street corporate America, back after their 2008 meltdown, buying up vast blocks of tickets if an American is projected in the final…especially a black one so they can prove to other Wall Street rich and pols and regulators how enlightened they are and in love with diversity in the age of Obama.

===============
Pronin – “I can only tolerate so much annoyance when dealing with bigots, racists, and sexists who are all obviously white males and want to cry about how unfair the world around them is.”

Well, I can only tolerate so much annoyance with the scattered self-righteous souls of tennis fandom, riding about on their high horses.

=====================
Lifetime tennis fan – “Lack of formal (education) makes people subscribe to outdated, right-wing views. Moore and Djokovic’s case is a classic example of that.”

Don’t now about Moore, but there are tennis players who are extremely bright, were stellar students before going to full time tennis and not to university. Knowledgeable on a range of matters. I’d put Djokovic in that camp.
The education and credentials conceit of the Left is quite remarkable. As well as how they never say their oppressed less educated minorities must be similarly as dumb and ignorant as their right wing targets. They have been finessing this issue ever since the educated Jewish and Russian Bolsheviks by explaining that the educated and wise (themselves) would run the Party to benevolently guide the peasants and workers via a Dictatorship of the Proletariat And fight against the ignorance of the less educated Bourgeoisie holding Denialist positions based on stupidity and ignorance of the unassailable wisdom of the scientific way of Marxism.

Truth is the poor lefties tend to flock to universities in easy liberal arts majors, and are forced to get advanced degrees to be employable enough to teach sociology or African gay culture..or teach schoolkids basic math.
They constantly confuse education credentials with wisdom and thinking ability. Which does not fall into neat bins like PhD>Masters>Undergrad>highschool (except for beleaguered minorities who don’t need good grades because they are street smart)

Lifetimetennisfan – Quite a few like Djokovic. Very bright and promising – but the choice was tennis or university or even finishing HS, and they went tennis. Agassi a 9th grade dropout. Ion Tiriac 10th grade dropout. Becker, Raonic, Bartoli, McEnroe all kids of very high performing professionals who never went to college. I’d put any of them up to hold their own with a typical leftist with a Master’s Degree.


Sean Randall Says:

According to the Indian Wells website, the men’s semifinal session beat the women’s semifinal session in attendance.

Friday night (women’s SFs): 13,832
Saturday afternoon (men’s SFs): 17,013

And the Friday day session featuring Djokovic and Nadal beat the women’s night SFs.

Friday day: 15,516


Markus Says:

Interesting conversations. Is there any other sport where men and women play in a combined event? Maybe they should just separate completely. Just like the PGA and the LPGA. Men are not involved in their matches anyway and vice versa. I hope it happens in the future so that there won’t be anymore of this equal pay controversy.


BBB Says:

Lifetime, Djokovic didn’t say anything sexist. He said the men should make less when the women’s tour is more lucrative.

It’s really disappointing to see his comments distorted.

I think MMT’s and Andy’s posts are incredibly sensible.


BBB Says:

McEnroe went to college.


Odojoe Says:

Equal pay for equal sets. Have the women play best of 5 at Slams or pay them less.


chrisford1 Says:

BBB – Mac had a year in college and bailed for fame, money, and wins in pro tennis. He passed the IQ test.


chrisford1 Says:

My last post is in moderation for some reason. Hope it makes it out because for all the talk about how Serena sold out USO tickets before the men, ergo woman’s tennis is a huge draw – three huge facts get in the way.
1. For several years, the collective idiocy of ESPN-CBS scheduled the USO mens’ on Monday in the middle of the workday.
2. Ticket sales in NYC are strongly influenced by block buying by Wall Street Corps, who will send the buyers out in droves especially if they think it is an American and minority – so they can invite all sorts of minority and leftist state, local, and Fed Pols and regulators to show how the Manhattan suits and Ruling Elites worship Serena and thus deserve the support of their invited guests.
3. For just regular Americans, far easier to cheer for a fellow top American player, and not for a player in some country we bombed in living memory – 70 or so by recent account. Unless it is John Isner. Then NYC fans can both enjoy the match more and be even more commendably PC if they cheer the black Frenchman instead.


Patson Says:

Commenting after a while.

The question really is: Does men’s tennis bring more money than women’s ? It’s not about Nole, Fed, or Rafa, it’s a quantitative question.

Proponents of equality of prize money for the winner across men and women make their case based on male privilege; however equality in this case, sounds more like a socialist concept. Sports today is driven by capitalist principles. If we establish (or have established) that men’s game is more popular than women’s, it would naturally mean that they should get more profit. In companies, this is so common. Say a team works on a feature which is extremely popular among its customers while another team , which probably worked as hard as the other team, works on a feature which isn’t as popular. In a profit-driven market, naturally the team that is perceived to bring in more revenue is going to get more money , more bonuses, etc.; in other words, that team has a greater retention value. It’s fair.

From a purely ‘who do your customers watch more’ perspective, Nole is absolutely right. But the problem is that women demand equality , regardless of market economics — a demand which does not reflect the proportion of profit women’s tennis brings. IOW, it’s almost like applying selective socialist principles to uphold gender-equality in a world driven by capitalist principles.

Nole’s argument is very balanced, and I hope people realize this. And just so you know, it works both ways; if women’s tennis brings in more viewership and attendance (and therefore money) in general, tournaments should absolutely reflect that in prize money. In fact, right now they revise prize money every year for every tournament anyway.. Every tournament needs to use a prize-money distribution formula that takes into account the viewership of previous year’s viewership and attendance for men’s and women’s matches.

Let’s not just sweep away the discussion by waving our hands and say: “Oh this is going to be very difficult to do so let’s just give both sides equal prize money”.


jane Says:

andy makes a good point.

the only exception might be at slams, where the women could – and perhaps should – play best of 5. of course they could do it, and it would be fun to watch and see how and/or it that would change results.


MMT Says:

The events are not sold as tickets to watch specific players at specific times – nobody but the tournament knows who is going to play on what court when until the day of (usually). So it wouldn’t make sense to give different prize money to the same pool of participants in a mixed event. The men want to have their cake and eat it too – they want the most attractive/alluring/popular women involved to shore up the lack of interest in the dregs of the ATP, so they agree to bundle the events. But then they want different prize money to essentially the same event. That’s not reasonable.

The women, on the other hand, have the best of both worlds – I’m convinced that if the events were split, there’d be less interest in the women’s tournament most of the time, and as such the prize money would be lower (unless somebody else in the marketing chain agrees to reduce their profits). So they get a joint event and they all make more money because of it. And it is economically and morally sound of them to insist on equal prize money at these events (not the majors, btw).

But that only holds if the event is truly mixed – I don’t see why they have to be. They could easily schedule matches on opposing days if there are the same number of matches in each tournament. If I were with the ATP I would insist on a split schedule over the same 10-14 day period. The tournament gets their economies of scope, the men get their isolation and can verifiably proclaim the superior product (based on a$$es in the seats). If the women don’t like that, they can split events and come back when cooler heads have prevailed.

They women should keep on doing what they’re doing, because they’ve got the best deal of all, but I have a feeling the ATP aren’t going to accept this for much longer. If they do split the events, even if it is something like opposite days, ultimately it would be better for the women too. The WTA and the players will be forced to produce the best product they can, and they’ll all be better off for it.


Lodhi Says:

With split schedules, how would’ve Sharapova and Dimitrov bumped into each other and found the love they had for each other ? Sure it didn’t last but it was good while it lasted — for all of us.

Keep the love stories coming. Say no to split events.


Sean Randall Says:

MMT, as I wrote, several of these “combined” events already pay different levels of prize money – Washington, Sydney and I believe Cincinnati to name a few.

And I know it’s extreme, but compare the women’s Doha/Dubai attendance vs the men’s. It’s embarrassing how few fans show up at the WTA stops.

And to add, I doubt the men want anything to do with women, even the top women.

Have you ever seen a top men’s player at a women’s match? Other than as a boyfriend, I never have.

And you think Lebron James would like whoever is best in the WNBA to open games for him? It might be cool for a game or two, but that’s it.

Problem is, for tournaments the facility is set up, so for some extra money (usually covered by sponsors) and if you can build another locker room why not also get some women to play to help sell a few more tickets those exclusive women’s fans.

Men’s fans would still by tickets, but now you get some women’s as well. Plus, sponsors probably like the idea of having both genders.

So for most tournaments, it makes economical sense. Sponsors like it, fans for the most part like it, but the players probably not so much.


RF Says:

Sean, pretty good points which I agree with. I just hope people don’t accuse you of being an angry white male followed by ‘you’re a Bernie Bro’.


jane Says:

Ben Rothenberg ‏@BenRothenberg 4m4 minutes ago
BREAKING: Raymond Moore has stepped down as tournament director and CEO of Indian Wells after controversial remarks Sunday.


Dave Says:

The whole thing is that none of this has anything to do with Men or Women. I know this point has already been said many times. All businesses work this way. Whatever makes more money, makes more money. Whoever makes more money, makes more money. It has nothing to do with men or women, it’s about what business makes more money. I do agree with separating the mens and womens tournaments completely. When I was in Acapulco, I didn’t watch one full womens match the whole tournament and others chose only to watch the mens matches as well. I think there are a lot of people that either like mens or womens tennis. I’m sure there are lots that like both mens and womens tennis. I think it’s surprising how many people only like one or the other. Also, the annoying thing when your at a tournament and you happen to only like mens or womens tennis is that on the main stadium court in the earlier rounds, you will have to watch Dominic Thiem on a court that holds only 100 or 200 people, because Azaranka or another top womens player is playing on the main stadium court. If it’s only a mens tournament, this never happens. You would get to see all of the top mens players in the main stadium and not have to get to the smaller courts super early just to get a seat, where it is first come first serve. So, whatever business makes more money, pay them more money. They should be looked at as separate businesses and not men vs women. That’s where all these conflicts happen. This whole thing has gotten blown out of proportion. Simple as that.


Margot Says:

Not surprised jane, as this would’ve been the obvious response:
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/mar/21/navratilova-female-tennis-boycott-indian-wells

And, apparently the women finalists didn’t know about his comments until after the ceremony.
Ho hum.


Margot Says:

@Sean
Murray is actually very knowledgeable about the WTA and not just the top players either. He regularly comments, especially on up and coming players.
Not sure he has time to attend matches in person, but he certainly watches them.
Await his comments on this with interest ;)


jalep Says:

jane already posted the twitter news but I’ll post a link. No Moore of it…bye, bye…

http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/35868662


jalep Says:

Andy is a sharp tennis fan, Margot. 👍


Margot Says:

http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2016/03/21/3762020/sexism-in-tennis-is-everywhere/

An interesting article. Worth a read.
Indeed he is, jalep. Up for some award now for helping promote WTA.
And I know jane is a Bouchard fan and apparently has interviewed Andy and is penning an article.


MMT Says:

Sean: Washington is a second tier event for the men, but a 3rd event of the women. Cincinnati is a second tier even for the women (not mandatory) but a top tier event of the men – so that they pay each of their participant differently is more a question of the value on their respective tours than their value to the event.

But your point is well taken with Sydney which is the same tier event for both men and women (3rd). The problem with Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Madrid is that they are all top tier events for both tours, so in that case it doesn’t seem to make sense they should be paid differently.

But that brings up a wrinkle to the argument: if the tours are independently scheduling and valuing their events, why should they be paid the same unless they are of equal value on both tours (top tier and mandatory)?

But the grinders on the men’s tour need a reality check, because nobody buys tickets to watch them play (except for the hard core tennis heads who would watch a neighborhood match if it was competitive enough). They definitely benefit from the most compelling women playing at the same venue at the same time.

The only ones who don’t really benefit at all from the mix are the top men – I’m guessing that if they wanted to, they could have their own traveling tour, like the Jack Kramer Pancho Gonzales days. That would be fascinating, and I would pay to see that. Federer vs Djokovic vs Murray vs Nadal every week from city to city around the world for a year?

They’d make a killing, and they could throw a bone to Serena and one sacrificial lamb of the week on the women’s side. It’s happened before, and there was some talk of a Tiger Tour 15 years ago when he was cleaning up, so it’s not a crazy idea.


didi Says:

I quit watching women’s tennis because the grunting is unbearable… started with Seles and Sharapova is the worst. If the WTA fixed this maybe they would have more people interested in watching.


jane Says:

thanks margot. i am looking forward to what other players say too. of course they’ll have had time to think about their answers and not have to answer on the spot, but it’ll still be interesting. i know fed definitely wasn’t for on court coaching. andy, in 2013, was against equal pay for the ladies at the slams. and i don’t think rafa and toni were too happy about the female dc coach either. so they all had things to say about the WTA or women in tennis that aren’t glowing. not that i think they, or novak, are outright sexists or anything. i just think there’s a certain “culture,” perhaps. previous words by staks, simon and tsonga were probably the most egregious.


jalep Says:

Good read, Margot – thanks.

Staks, darling Gilou, Jo, probably a majority of both men and sadly, women on tour – even Nole now, (thinking of his bit about hormones and stuff getting in the way, ugh) – but it doesn’t stop me from loving their tennis and supporting them. No one is perfect. Definitely there is a certain “culture” at play.


jane Says:

true, jalep. no one is perfect. and i was thinking that a lot of these guys are uneducated, insofar as they’ve been playing tennis since they were wee, on tour since forever, and imbricated in a kind of “jock” culture or world, so sometimes they say things that are less than enlightened, even though they may not mean it to come out badly, in some cases.

i think when andy faced backlash for hiring amelie it must’ve been something new for him. although of course both andy and novak had female coaches who were formative- nole with gencic and andy with his mum- so they’d taken instruction on that level before.

anyhow, agree: still support their tennis, of course, and if anything, this can be a learning moment for all of them to think about things through a different lens.


Margot Says:

Yeah, jane, I think Nole was caught on the hop too.
And I agree with what you said about supporting players too. Nobody’s perfect…well except …;)
I do have some lines in the sand….but that’s for another day. :)


Giles Says:

The only two players who bring in the most revenue are Fedal. So maybe these two should earn more than the others


Ioulia Napalkova Says:

Sickening…. Deplorable …. Djoko turned into the Djerko ….. It’s truly sad. And, to watch Herr RF cursing?? I wouldn’t pay for that! There’re may others, not like ” premadonnas ” acting Ladies players, I come to cheer for.

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