Rafael Nadal took on Victoria Azarenka over her comments that men should play best-of-three-sets tennis in order to make it equal pay for men and women in the sport.
The world number two Spaniard dismissed suggestions made by Azarenka who tweeted men should play three-set matches in order to improve quality of tennis and avoid “ruined finals or semifinals because of exhaustion.”
Azarenka was replying to a comment on her Twitter feed, questioning the rationale behind equal pay when men play best-of-five sets and women don’t, in Grand Slam tennis.
Nadal, however, retorted there was no need for men’s tennis to change things around to three-set matches at Grand Slams, questioning why should that switch be made when there was no pressing need for it.
“It doesn’t matter the prize money, or equal prize money or not, that’s your debate it’s not our debate. It’s interesting that you are always debating on equal prize money in tennis when we are probably the only sport in the world where we are almost equal prize money in most of the events.”
Currently, Grand Slam and a few of the Masters like at Indian Wells, pay equal prize money to both, men and women but there is still a wage gap at many other tournaments.
Nadal, however, believes the debate around prize money should not be based on how many sets are played but about “who sells more, who sells less”.
He added, it should not be about men or women but about people who deserve more or less.
“We [men or women] are the same, somebody deserve more and other ones deserve less.”
Citing the example of how things should work like in corporate jobs, Nadal pointed out that if he was doing his job better than another man in his firm, he deserved more than the other, without bringing a gender discussion into it.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a girl or man and I’m a little bit tired about this debate all the time.”