THE Italian Open has been accused of misogyny after bizarrely awarding males’s champion Novak Djokovic £9.20 greater than ladies’s winner Simona Halep.
Performed in Rome, the event has lengthy awarded males larger pay cheques, regardless of doing the identical job as ladies on the identical occasion.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep was paid £9.20 lower than Djokovic for successful the identical occasionCredit score: AFP
Djokovic defeated Diego Schwartzman to win his fifth Italian Open titleCredit score: AFP
In 2019, the Italian Open awarded a complete prize fund of round £4.8million for the boys’s occasion – in comparison with simply £3.2m for the ladies.
And whereas this 12 months the prize pool was largely evened out, eagle-eyed observers together with New York Instances contributor Ben Rothenberg famous that organisers seemingly nonetheless could not fairly convey themselves to grant the ladies’s occasion full parity.
And followers weren’t blissful, with one writing: “Individuals who made a pay hole in cents are misogynists. Interval.”
One other added: “virtually really feel like – in the event that they so badly want these 10 euros to really feel higher about their manhood – hell’s bells give it to ’em”.
And a 3rd wrote: “Ridiculous. And what a brutal hole within the preliminary rounds, hurting decrease ranked ladies much more.”
Each women and men play best-of-three units on the tour-level occasion.
The Italian Open is certainly one of 9 Masters 1000 ATP occasions, one rung under Grand Slams together with Wimbledon – whereas the concurrent WTA occasion is a Premier 5, under the 4 Premier Mandatories however nonetheless one of many ladies’s tour’s 9 greatest common occasions.
This 12 months’s winner and five-time Rome champion Djokovic has been criticised prior to now for his feedback relating to equal pay.
In 2016, the 17-time Grand Slam winner mentioned: “They [the WTA] fought for what they deserve and so they received it. Then again I feel that our males’s tennis world, ATP world, ought to struggle for extra as a result of the stats are exhibiting that now we have far more spectators on the boys’s tennis matches.
“I feel that’s one of many the explanation why perhaps we must always get awarded extra. Girls ought to struggle for what they assume they deserve and we must always struggle for what we expect we deserve.
“So long as it’s like that and there may be information and stats accessible upon who attracts extra consideration, spectators, who sells extra tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it needs to be pretty distributed.”
Whereas a few of his friends agreed, Andy Murray, a powerful advocate for girls’s sports activities, rubbished Djokovic’s views.
He mentioned on the time: “I feel there needs to be equal pay, 100 per cent, in any respect mixed occasions.
“One of many issues Novak mentioned was that if ladies are promoting extra seats and tickets they need to make extra however at a event like [the Miami Open], for instance, if Serena is taking part in on centre courtroom and you’ve got a males’s match with [Sergiy] Stakhovsky taking part in, individuals are coming to look at Serena.
“The crowds are coming to look at the ladies as properly. The entire thing simply doesn’t stack up – it modifications on a day-to day foundation relying on the matches you get.”
If I’ve a daughter who performs tennis and now have a son that performs tennis, I wouldn’t say that my son deserves extra as a result of he’s a person
And Serena Williams herself additionally weighed in: “I’ve been taking part in because the age of two and it could be stunning to say my son would deserve greater than my daughter.
“It’s irrelevant. Novak is entitled to his opinion but when he has a daughter – I feel he has a son proper now – he ought to discuss to her and inform her how his son deserves extra money as a result of he’s a boy.
“If I’ve a daughter who performs tennis and now have a son that performs tennis, I wouldn’t say that my son deserves extra as a result of he’s a person. In the event that they each began at three-years-old I might say they each deserve the identical sum of money.”
Djokovic, who was making his return to the tour after being defaulted at the US Open, additionally gathered controversy for forming a breakaway union throughout tennis’ time of want led to by Covid-19 – and failing to incorporate the ladies.
Once more Murray objected, revealing that he wouldn’t take into account becoming a member of such a union until his WTA counterparts have been included.
He mentioned: “I’m not completely towards a participant union, or gamers’ affiliation, however proper now there’s a few issues: one is I really feel like the present administration needs to be given a while to implement their imaginative and prescient.
“Whether or not that works out or not would doubtlessly affect me sooner or later as to which approach I might go.
“Additionally, the truth that the ladies aren’t a part of [the plans]. I really feel like that might ship a considerably far more highly effective message, if the WTA have been on board as properly. That’s not at present the case. If these issues modified sooner or later, it’s one thing that I will surely take into account.”
Serena Williams and Andy Murray have each rallied towards Djokovic feedback prior to now on equal payCredit score: EPA