Simon reignites women's tennis pay debate
09:32 AEST Thu Jun 28 2012

  Have your say on prizemoney in tennis.

French star Gilles Simon, who has been elected on to the ATP Players Council, has reopened the bitter debate over equal prize money by claiming men's tennis is far more attractive.

Simon, the world No.13, criticised the move towards equality, where all the grand slams pay their champions the same amount despite men playing best-of-five sets and not three.

"We often speak of equal money, but I think it's something that doesn't work in sport," said Simon.

"Tennis is the only sport today where we have parity even though men's tennis remains more attractive than women's at this time."

Simon has also criticised the move towards more joint-tournaments outside of the four majors -- last week, men and women played at the same event in Eastbourne and 's-Hertogenbosch.

"I am not against mixed tournaments, it's just that I think today men's tennis is really ahead compared to women."

Simon also told French reporters: "When Rome became a joint tournament it was to save the women because I remember a final with 20 spectators".

The French player is in action at Wimbledon later Wednesday when he faces Xavier Malisse in a second round tie.

Simon's remarks drew a stinging rebuke from compatriot Marion Bartoli, France's top women's player and the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up.

"Over the whole year, we are a long way from winning as much as the men -- only in a few tournaments and grand slams," said Bartoli.

"We are fully-invested as much as them. The physical demands, training, investment on a personal level are the same as theirs," she said.

"The early rounds of men's matches do not attract many people either. Players who really attract spectators in men's tennis, there are only five to six."

Is men's tennis more attractive than women's tennis?
Should women get the same prizemoney?
Should women's matches be decided in five sets?

User comments
When the women play best of 5, they'll earn equal pay, simple. Do casual workers who work for 3 hours get the same pay as those who work for 5? No. Same analogy here. As for entertainment, doubles is far better than singles in variety of shots & thrills so if anything, doubles players pay should be raised if entertainment value is a criteria. Otherwise, it can't be changed back so leave it as is 6 learn a lesson.
There is no reason not to make everything even, No one has time for sexist pigs.Let them play together. Or how about no sport at ALL.The world wont end!
Well, all I know is I would pay big $$ to see Aranxta Rus play five sets...boy, howdy is she a looker ! Woo hoo !
"If I work 3 hours inefficiently, I want to be paid equal amount to that person working 5 hours effectively" If we convert a set to an hour and the vast inequality of the women's performance to the men's, this is the statement we would obtain from the real world. However, I dont believe that making women play 5 sets would be a good idea. I see them get tired after 3 "gruelling" sets. By increasing the sets, we are just prolonging the time we watch bad tennis being played and the match would be more about who can endure, instead of who can play better tennis.
On a slightly slanted view - how about the pay scales for the umpires - take that up and see how the suits run for cover - these tennis stars are all paid too much as it is - their prizemoney goes up and up - then costs for entry to venues and all associated others ie food,drink etc increase - yet umpires who are professionals never see the sort of pay commensurate with these mind blowing figures.Fair remuneration for all as these hard working people work long hours in all sorts of weather, travel the world mostly at their own cost and deserve pay on an equal footing.But good luck with that one.
Of course there should NOT be equal prize money for men and women in tennis. The men play 5 sets not 3. The men bring in the crowds. The men bring in almost ALL of the sponsorship money. Make it a pro rata basis.....
Let's make it really equal, no separation. Men play v Women - one tournament. Issue solved. No issue surrounding gender reassignment people either. Solve female athletes having to sell sexy calendars or have skimpy uniforms to get people to watch either. Solved!
I’ll make this simple, separate women’s and Men’s tennis tournaments entirely... see what happens. Sorry ladies testosterone wins the argument....period! You can argue all you like however it won’t change reality....even if the sets were the same (yep it’s not fair.....neither is life)
If the Australian Open were to be the benchmark it would be an absolute no brainer. More recently, the women's final has been over in about 1 hour in 2 sets of very disappointing tennis. The men's final has seen gruelling contests going into 5 sets over many hours. The tennis is immeasurably and hugely better and the endurance and skills of the men is quite unbelieveable. The finals are like chalk and cheese and should be compensated and remunerated accordingly.
Why do soccer players receive just large sums of money? because people are interested and pay big money to watch games and purchase merchanised. It is an attractive game for the majority of people. Why are the kardashians rich? Because people are interested in them hence they earn big money. Mens tennis is easily a better spectacle. More athletic, superior talent, greater competition etc etc. Hence more people watch mens tennis over womens tennis. Hence men deserve more money. Fact - whatever brings the crowds get the money! I am not saying it is fair (i.e. kardashians) but this is life!!

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