Novak Djokovic: Men’s Tennis Should Fight for More Prize Money

Novak Djokovic talks to the crowd after his win over Milos Roanic in the men’s final at Indian Wells, California. He believes that men should be awarded more prize money than women following a row sparked by comments from the chief executive of Indian Wells, Raymond Moore.

Novak Djokovic

Speaking ahead of the BNP Paribas final between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, Moore said the Women’s Tennis Association was a “lucky organisation” which “rides on the coattails” of the men.

Seeming to overlook the 21 grand slam titles won by Williams – more than the 17 won by Roger Federer and 14 by Rafael Nadal – Moore added: “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”

Moore later apologised for his comments that were in “poor taste and erroneous” and today resigned as BNP Paribas Open tournament director, but the damage had been done by then and Djokovic’s statement, later on, added fuel to the fire.

Speaking at the press conference after his straight-sets win against Milos Raonic in the men’s final, Novak praised WTA players for the sacrifice and effort they put into the sport, adding ATP players should fight for even more because their game attracted more viewers.

“It’s a very delicate and sensitive subject to talk about. Women deserve respect and admiration for what they are doing. Equal prize money was the main subject of the tennis world in the last seven, eight years. I have been through that process as well, so I understand how much power and energy WTA and all the advocates for equal prize money have invested in order to reach that. I applaud them for that, I honestly do. They fought for what they deserve, and they got it. On the other hand, 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 we should get awarded more. But, again, we can’t complain because we also have great prize money.”