Novak Djokovic is the former world No. 1 and currently No. 2 in the world. He was the top-ranked player for 223 weeks and has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, the 4th most in tennis history. When Novak was asked about the issue of equal pay he stated that men deserve more because in their matches they draw in much more spectators. These comments emerged a debate in the the sports community, specifically in tennis.
He may have given women respect and applauded them for their hard work and efforts but at the end of the day 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. I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more.”
What do you guys think about this statement? I personally believe that spectators and TV ratings have nothing to do with getting awarded equally. It’s all about the equal rights women of many societies worldwide have worked so hard to establish. Over the centuries women, from Hillary Clinton to Oprah Winfrey, have fought so hard for their rights. The progress the feminist movement has made is incredible but it is still not enough. In many aspects of our daily lives women are wrongfully treated and this has got to change.
Specifically in tennis, women are wrongfully treated when they receive less money. Why is this happening? In the 4 Grand Slams and in all the combined events the award money might be equal but in every other WTA event the prize money much less than men’s.
Djokovic, world number one in 2015, won three of the four Slams last year. He was victorious in 93.18% of his matches. His reward for that, in prize money alone, was £14.5m.
Serena Williams, world number one on the WTA Tour, also won three of the four Slams. She won 94.64% of her matches across the year. Her total prize money? £7.3m.
These stats are shocking. They competed and won the same amount of tournaments, Williams is leading the winning percentage yet she received half the money Djokovic made in the same year. How is this fair?
Djokovic added, “Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.” And that is exactly what we are doing. For the last 8-9 years equal prize money has been the main subject of the tennis world. Tennis might be far ahead in comparison to other sports, in terms of equal pay, but has still has a long way to go.
“I have tremendous respect for what women in global sport are doing and achieving. Their bodies are much different to men’s bodies. They have to go through a lot of different things that we don’t have to go through. You know, the hormones and different stuff, we don’t need to go into details,” Novak Djokovic said.
I will conclude with the comments of the current world No 1, Andy Murray who stated his opinion on the matter.
“One of the things Novak said was that if women are selling more seats and tickets they should make more but at a tournament like this, for example, if Serena is playing on centre court and you have a men’s match with Stakhovsky playing, people are coming to watch Serena. The crowds are coming to watch the women as well. The whole thing just doesn’t stack up – it changes on a day-to‑day basis depending on the matches you get”
Women will fight till the end to achieve equal pay. The question is will you fight with them?