Roger Federer: I Support Equal Prize Money, But It’s Also Up To The Tournaments
by Tom Gainey | March 24th, 2016, 3:03 pm

After six weeks off the tour recovering from left knee surgery, Roger Federer found himself returning to a sport embroiled in a white-hot equal prize money debate.

Novak Djokovic stated he thinks the men deserve more. Andy Murray countered, saying all combined events should have equal shares. Today, as expected Federer went right down the middle.

“I’m all for equal prize money,” Federer said today in Miami.

“But then you have to look at the history of each and every event, where it came from,” he said. “Some tournaments were a men’s tournament, then the women joined or vice versa, it was a women’s tournament and we joined them.

“It’s sometimes hard to make equal prize money there. It’s up to the tournament director to decide if he wants it to be that way.”

Federer also said he was happy to have been fighting with others on the ATP for more prize money at the Slams back in 2012, which also lifted the women’s purse.

“When I was fighting for prize money increases, especially at the slam level,” Federer added. “I was always very aware of the fact that it was always going to impact the women’s game, which I was very happy about. Both at the same time were growing.”

Federer also pointed out that the men don’t always get the same as the women at all the events.

“I mean, we don’t always get the same like the women, as well. I think it depends on what tournaments we are talking about,” he said. “I think you have to be very specific what you’re talking about.”

Federer, though, is pleased tennis such a great presence in female sports.

“I’m happy that tennis has produced some of the greatest female athletes in the world,” he concluded. “I think that’s great. It’s a great platform. Yeah, equal prize money is a good thing.”

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51 Comments for Roger Federer: I Support Equal Prize Money, But It’s Also Up To The Tournaments

Van Persie Says:

And the winner is…..tananananaaaaa!!!!

Van Persie Says:

a very balanced and well prepared speech from Roger, have to admit that.
Nole was in a hurryand unprepared when he was sked on the topic and Murray played the ladies knight.

Van Persie Says:

^asked not sked

MMT Says:

All things equal, there should be equal pay. Where Federer et al are introducing an out clause is their contention that all things are not equal, and therefore why should the pay be?

This is why I keep returning to what Ray Moore was saying in the first place: the WTA maybe technically in their rights to demand equal (because that’s what everyone agreed to), but morally they have a responsibility to contribute equally.

Ironically, I don’t believe Moore actually said anything about equal pay. (Somebody please keep me honest, because I didn’t actually listen to/view all his remarks). As such, if the WTA aren’t doing everything they can to contribute to the interest in, and growth of, the sport, why isn’t that the issue?

Why do we expect/accept anything less than equal contribution from the WTA?

skeezer Says:

Fed always speaks well and represents the game superbly. Well said Fed!

Lodhi Says:

Glad that you liked it skeez.

J-Kath Says:

@ Skeezer
Except he’s had a net call and 2 serves to get his point across, which was????

Van Persie Says:

so…it is also up to organizers of tournaments to decide, how WTA and ATP should be payed. It makes sense.

Humble Rafa Says:

skeezer Says:
Fed always speaks well and represents the game superbly. Well said Fed!

Your cats need food now.

skeezer Says:

The jealousy posts continue. How about just owning up to it all and said he said the right thing? Who else of the top players did?

Ron Smith Says:

Sure Roger! You’re cool with equal prize money. But you are not a normal player with an average ranking. You get all sorts of endorsements being Fed. Does anyone know what Fed’s (non major)appearance fee is at each tournament?? Last I heard he gets a lot of money just for showing up to play at a tournament.

Wog Boy Says:

“Except he’s had a net call and 2 serves to get his point across, which was????”

Loved it:)

skeezer Says:

^??? … and he should. He earned it. So did Sharapova, Williams, Rafa, etc. The tournaments want the highest draw possible to insure their income also.

skeezer Says:

^that was for Ronn.

Of course you did. At least you didn’t post your usual jealousy post card.

chrisford1 Says:


Short, droll, & witty.

J-Kath Says:

Just watched a 1991 film – “My Son Johnny”….it ended by saying 19,000 American brothers/sisters are guilty of extreme physical abuse towards each other per year. That is unbelievable. Other countries?

Puts the petty verbal wars between fans and tennis players into proportion…

J-Kath Says:

Taa Chrisford 1

Dave Says:

I was talking with a player that was in the top 30 at one point in his career and he said he has never once gotten money for showing up to a tournament. He said to me, do you know how much Nadal would get just for showing up to Acapulco? I said: how much? around 1.5 million dollars. That’s the reality of tennis in the mens game. It’s not even that easy to make a living by the time you take into account paying for coaches, travelling expenses, etc. You won’t get huge endorsement money either if your not a top player. So a top 100 player, even a top 30 player can’t rely on getting paid anything just to show up to a tournament. The reality is that the players aren’t protesting as far as I know, about the fact that It’s not even close to equal because of facts like I mentioned above, so I don’t see why it’s such a big deal with the women wanting as much as the men. If anything, the lower ranked players who make a pedestrian living, have just as much of a right or more to protest on the ATP tour as the women do.

Dave Says:

Than you have a guy like Dimitrov, who is barely in the top 30 not showing up to his home tournament because they won’t pay him enough just to play in the tournament. But Dimitrov is more of a draw than some of the other top 30 players, because he has been hyped through the roof. That’s just how it is. But the other guys in the top 30 that don’t get the hype and aren’t as marketable get nothing for showing up to tournament and have to rely only on prize money and endorsements and that’s it.

Dave Says:

And the only reason Dimitrov is so marketable is because he is good looking and because he modeled his game after Roger Federer and got the Nickname, Baby Fed, which he has never lived up to. Far or not far, that’s how it goes with business. Whatever product is marketable and makes the most money, gets paid more.

Dave Says:

fair or not fair. Had to correct myself

BBB Says:

Dave, I agree with you – if you decide that market forces aren’t the only consideration, then it makes sense to look both at how the women are paid, and how lower ranked players are paid. But if you want to rely on market forces, then Rafa’s going to get $1.5 million to show up while the lower ranked guys struggle to pay their bills.

I find Roger’s comments like a Rorschach test – you see what you want to see. “he’s for equality!” “he’s for tournament-specific paydays that aren’t equal!”

I don’t think Djokovic really backed off his comments, and good for him, as they weren’t sexist in the first place.

Kimberly Says:

Hi All

Back from the day session.

1st Margot, Rz, Murray signed Colins Ball AND his hat.

At 12pm on three courts right next to each other there were three practices matches
Federer v. Wawrinka
Murray v. Nishikori
Nadal v. Verdasco
It was a mob scene!!!!!!!!

Earlier in the day we heard Azarenka practicing. We did not see her but 4 courts away we heard her for sure so she is here in full force!

Colin has a hat with the following signatures now
Nadal, Isner, Keyes, Serena, Venus, Murray, Djokovic. (isner and keyes were the first two before we made it mega star hat, the rest have to sign his ball)Basically colin has over 50gs titles on his hat. On two tries we have not gotten roger to sign and today it was right next to him. My husband thinks he wont sign because its a Rafa the bull hat?

So we watched Young play like garabge, Cornet be totally outplayed and try an MTO which was useless because she got crushed anyway, we watch any extremely angry Coric scream at his box and blow the match and cramp up, we only watched the beginning of Sloane and she was leading! then we left because the grand stand does not have assigned seats and we wanted to watch Nadal and Verdasco play doubles and Giraldo forced us to wait a bit and watch him by dropping the second set nexplicably, before taking a bathroom break and rebounding.

Some thoughts.
1. Coric strength is speed, a very taxing game style, just doesn’t hit the ball that big. I think there is more promise to Zverev.
2. Roger Federer is a tough autograph to get
3. Venus hits the ball harder than anyone else when she has time, just not quite fast enough to create that time
4. Cant wait to watch Federer delpo live!

RZ Says:

@Kimberly – how awesome! Sounds like a fantastic day. I’m jealous.

skeezer Says:

Delpo/Fed? Wow awesome! Watch that Delpo FH, its a sight to behold LIve πŸ˜ƒ. Are u scheduled to see Rafa? (I know u are 😁)

Kimberly Says:

btw two thoughts from yesterday–

1. Lucie Hrdecka really hits the ball, cant understand why she isn’t better.
2. my husband at the evening match and he says Delpo not going anywhere with that backhand

Kimberly Says:

@Skeezer, Nadal is playing the Saturday Day session so I will see him then but I saw him play doubles earlier and seen two practices. I will not see Djoker Azarenka as I am leaving after the day session tomorrow.

jalep Says:

Wow. What a day…Kimberly – Love it!

Lucie Hradecka. She’s great in doubles! Her singles career, I don’t know. Usually don’t even think of her in singles.

Strycova has been playing out of her mind great since AO.

Yep. Delpo. Was worried Pella would beat him. I bet the Monica Puig match woulda been good.

jalep Says:

RF won’t sign Rafa the Bull hat…😁

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Kim, great to hear your reports- except the part about DelPo’s backhand. Ack. Say it aint so!

Markus Says:

J-Kath @4:55 pm. That post made me smile.

jane Says:

glad you’re having so much fun kimberly!

roger’s response is rather equivocal – i am for equal pay *but* it’s up to history, events and tournament directors…lots of options there for the tournaments not to give equal pay then.

bojana Says:

I would say that Federer said the same as Novak only using different words,but he is beloved Federer and that is OK.

skeezer Says:

Nole is also beloved, his fans are a plenty here ;)
Fed does chime in on the Sharapova thingy;

Okiegal Says:

@Kimberly….Love your reports…..keep them coming. I know you are having a great time… green with envy……not really…just kidding! Your son needs a Fed cap for that autograph….lol

Okiegal Says:

Rafa is beloved too…..his 2 fans here on TX think so anyway…… :)

Margot Says:

Lovely report Kimberly thank you. x

Lodhi Says:

Ivo Karlovic also needs love. Please love him too.

chrisford1 Says:

There, Okiegal… can be a fan of someone else and still like and respect Rafa. As a Djokovic fan, Rafa is the other side of a Clash of the Titans. May end as the 1st or 2nd greatest rivalry ever in terms of closeness, quality, number of times played. Each is each others absolutely toughest rival. Both nice guys who keep breaking the other’s heart, reshaping the path of each career. You can argue that each hurt the others statistical ‘Slamcount’ , but the classic matches that displayed their abilities are what future fans of the sport will see foremost. That and Feds clashes with each.

Okiegal Says:

@cf1 3:39……Spot on! I like other players, Andy being #2 on my list… DelPo and have been so sorry for him and his wrist problem.

Yes, the rivalries these top players have had has been amazing for us tennis fans…….Our eyes have beheld some exciting stuff…….My guy may have lost a step but I still see some greatness there in his matches, whether he wins or loses. I hope he fairs well in Miami, but that is one that is missing…….

RZ Says:

@Kimberly and Jalep – It’ll be interesting to see if Lucie Hradecka can take her successful doubles game into singles. She and Andrea Hlavackova (“the silent H’s”) have been one of the top doubles teams for years. I remember in 2012 they were runners up at both Wimbledon and the US Open and won silver at the Olympics. They split up to play with others for a while but are back together, probably because of the Olympic year.

James Says:

Federer basically made a politically correct statement, while at the same time taking both sides of a contentious issue. Should be in politics!

I admire Djokovic for having spoken the truth, though he had to chicken out and backtrack. Am sort of Fed up with Fed’s useless PC talk, even though I admire his game immensely.

Bob Lewis Says:

I’m in favor of one tournament. Race, height, weight, color, gender…all thrown into the same pool, same draw. May the best person win. That’s true equality. One US Open Champion, one Wimbledon champion.

Bob Lewis Says:

@James: It’s amazing how nobody is allowed to have an opinion anymore. Anything that the left doesn’t like, you must apologize for. This level of censorship is appalling and unacceptable. Djokovic can openly say what he said in his country, I’ll tell you that. So who has the “freedom of speech?”

Bob Lewis Says:

I think the Rochus brothers should come out and fight for their cause too. It’s unfair that shorter people have to go up against Nadal, Cilic, Djokovic, etc. So they should have their own tournaments/draws with equal prize money, too. I mean, why stop at gender?

jalep Says:

πŸ˜„ indeed, Bob Lewis.

Kei would rule that class. And he wouldn’t have to lie about his height anymore. Short people have to lie about their height in tennis.

Cibulkova, Errani, Carla Suarez-Navarro…

jalep Says:

RZ, had never noticed the famous silent H Czech doubles team in the singles draw. I knew of them from watching Fed Cup. Hlavackova singles? I dunno.

Lucie Hradecka nearly beat Vinci last night. She’s doing well in singles the last couple months

RKC Says:

What makes the Raymond Moore gaffe even sillier is the fact that tennis has come farther than just about any other professional sport in terms of gender pay equity:

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