Found June 28, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Tennis__australian_8166
Maria Sharapova had a simple retort to the notion that men should be paid more than women at Grand Slam tournaments. Serena Williams just laughed and covered her face with one hand before delivering her answer. Two of the biggest stars of women's tennis didn't hold back Thursday when responding to comments made this week by 13th-ranked Gilles Simon -- a new member of the ATP Player Council -- that has rekindled the debate over equal prize money at Wimbledon. While Simon defended his viewpoint Thursday and added a majority of male players agree with him -- but are afraid to speak out -- Sharapova offered a clear answer to why she deserves the money she earns. ''I'm sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his,'' she said. Sharapova beat Tsvetana Pironkova in a tough three-set match on a packed Court 1 on Thursday to reach the third round at Wimbledon, while Simon lost in straight sets to Xavier Malisse on Court 3. On a more serious note, Sharapova added: ''Look, we women have fought so long to get equal prize money. It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It's been a few years since we've gotten that. We're all really proud of it, and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger.'' Sharapova's comments were relayed to Williams after her match on Centre Court. ''You know, I can't bite my tongue,'' Williams said. ''Definitely a lot more people are watching Maria than Simon. She's way hotter than he is. Women's tennis, I think, is really awesome. ''It's a great fight. We fought for years with Billie Jean King, and Venus (Williams) as well, really set the pattern on what we should do.'' In 2007, Wimbledon became the last Grand Slam tournament to give equal prize money to the men's and women's singles champions. The French Open introduced it a year earlier, copying the US Open and Australian Open who have had it for years. However, the Frenchman believes male players provide more entertainment during matches and should be compensated accordingly. Defending his viewpoint Thursday, Simon claimed ''everybody in the locker room'' agreed with him. ''The 128 players (in the men's singles draw at Wimbledon) think just like me, that's for sure. Just ask them,'' he said. ''Maybe they can't say it. . . . Maybe they will lose, I don't know, $2 million on the contracts if they say that. ''My point of view was just about the entertainment. If you just watch how it is working in every other sport, even for the singers, you're just paid by the public directly. My point was that I have the feeling that men's tennis is actually more interesting than women's tennis. As in any business or anything, you just have to be paid just about that. It's not because we play five sets and they are playing three.'' Simon also noted that Wimbledon charges more for tickets to the men's singles final than the women's. This year, for example, a seat at Centre Court for the men's final costs $185, while tickets are about $160 for the women's. Publicly, male players have been slow to back Simon. ''It's just a matter of who believes what, and then that is an endless debate,'' Roger Federer said after his second-round win on Wednesday. Malisse said he shared Simon's view but ''I'd rather not get into it. I'd rather he gets into it.'' Andy Roddick said the whole debate should not become ''a gender issue'' and that tennis is a business like any other. ''I'm sure there's a way to figure out who people are coming to watch,'' Roddick said. ''I'm sure there's TV ratings to look at. I'm sure there are ample numbers out there to dissect. As any business goes, you look at those numbers and then decide where it goes from there.'' Andy Murray said ''there's a lot of things the guys do agree on,'' and pointed out that it's easier for women to play both singles and doubles at the Grand Slams because they play fewer sets. At the Grand Slam tournaments, men play best-of-five-set matches; women play best-of-three. At most other events, all matches for both genders are best-of-three. ''It's not always just about equal pay, it's about the way the men's and women's tournaments differ,'' he said. Simon faced a series of pointed questions from reporters after his loss, with one asking whether he felt he had delivered an entertaining performance in falling in straight sets. ''That doesn't change anything,'' said Simon, who was elected last week to a two-year term on the ATP Player Council. ''My point of view doesn't depend on my result.'' He added that women should be entitled to more prize money than men if the women's game becomes ''more interesting'' -- and didn't argue against Sharapova's point. ''Maria is more famous than me. I know it. She deserves to earn more money than me,'' he said.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Simon Defends Stance to Media: Sharapova, Serena Williams React

WIMBLEDON –Thirteenth ranked Gilles Simon has caused some controversy this week with his stance against equal pay for men and women in tennis. The Frenchman met the media after his straight set loss to Xavier Malisse of Belgium at Wimbledon on Thursday. In his own words: Gilles Simon: “I never thought it was a good idea for women to play five sets.  It was not my point of view...

Simon doesn't like equal prize money in tennis

A member of the top 20 who is on the ATP Player Council says men should be paid more than women at tennis tournaments. Gilles Simon, a Frenchman seeded 13th at Wimbledon, told reporters in French that he thinks ''men's tennis is ahead of women's tennis'' and ''men spend twice as long on court as women do at Grand Slams.'' He also said men...

Simon doesn't like equal prize money

A member of the top 20 who is on the ATP Player Council says men should be paid more than women at tennis tournaments. Gilles Simon, a Frenchman seeded 13th at Wimbledon, told reporters in French that he thinks ''men's tennis is ahead of women's tennis'' and ''men spend twice as long on court as women do at Grand Slams.'' He also said men...

Simon Says No to Equal Prize Money

Frenchman Gilles Simon  seeded 13th at Wimbledon told French media he did not think the women should get equal prize money in tennis. “I think that men’s tennis is really ahead of women’s tennis at this stage,” Simon told French-language radio after his first round match at Wimbledon on Monday. “Once more, the men spent surely twice as much time on court as the women...

Williams sisters win doubles match at Wimbledon

Venus and Serena Williams played their first doubles match in two years Thursday and looked like their usual dominant selves, breezing into the second round of Wimbledon by beating Vesna Dolonc of Serbia and Olga Savchuk of Ukraine 6-0, 6-3. The Williams sisters have not played a doubles tournament together since losing in the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals, with both having struggled...

Simon defends comments on prize money

The new member of the ATP Player's Council who caused a stir this week by saying men should be paid more than women at Grand Slam tournaments claims most of his male colleagues share his views. The 13th-ranked Gilles Simon defended his views Thursday after losing in straight sets to Xavier Malisse at Wimbledon. Simon says his fellow male players ''can't say it ...

Wimbledon 2012 Tennis Fashion. Day 2: Serena Williams

Yesterday we featured Venus Williams. Today is her sister Serena's turn. Serena finished her first Wimbledon round with a confident win over her opponent. We already featured Serena's Wimbledon dress in our Wimbledon fashion and personality quiz, and frankly on the picture it looked much better than on Serena. Either she messed up with the size, or Nike messed up with...

Serena Williams Avoids Upset at Wimbledon, Beats Zheng Jie in Tiebreaker

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams hit 23 aces, held every service game and barely escaped an upset bid by Zheng Jie, winning 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7 Saturday in the third round at Wimbledon. Williams, who erased all six break points she faced, served three times to stay in the match and held each time at love. She was pushed to deuce serving in the final game but closed out the victory...

Gilles Simon: heartthrob or hater?

By Ashley Babich Well, someone was drinking his daily dose of haterade! The usually-admired French ATP player Gilles Simon (ranked #13) enflamed some in the tennis community this week when he expressed his opinion about equal prize money between men and women at Grand Slam tournaments. Simon is a newly elected member of the ATP Player’s Council, and he will serve a two-year...

Serena Williams Survives Zheng test, Reaches Wimbledon Fourth Round

WIMBLEDON – Serena Williams survived a major test on Saturday in the All England Club when she came back past Jie Zheng 6-7, 6-2, 9-7 to move into the round of 16.   Williams said that she had to dig deep to get through the tough match. “Definitely pretty deep” said Williams.  “She was playing really well.  Just have to go out there and do what I could.”   “Oh, it’s...

Williams sisters reach Wimbledon doubles semis

A couple of hours after reaching her seventh Wimbledon final, Serena Williams returned to Centre Court with sister Venus to secure a spot in the semifinals of the doubles tournament. The Williams sisters routed Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour Thursday. The Williams sisters are playing a doubles tournament for the first time in two years and are...

Looks From WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party

Some of  Tennis most beautiful women came out and partied hard at the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party in London this past week.Check out my favorite looks of the evening.   Serena was stunning in her purple gown, according to theFashionbomb, Serena wore purple taffeta dress with a mesh neckline from Burberry and accessorized with glittering jewels and $595 Velvet and Leather platform sandals...

Top US pairs reach Wimbledon semis

A couple of hours after reaching her seventh Wimbledon final, Serena Williams returned to Centre Court with sister Venus to secure a spot in the semifinals of the doubles tournament. The Williams sisters routed Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-1, 6-1 in less than hour Thursday. Venus and Serena are playing a doubles tournament for the first time in two years and are looking...
Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.