Rafael Nadal has opened up on pay disparity among men and women’s tennis players.
In the same week Rafael Nadal won the French Open for the eleventh time in his career, the Spaniard also made headlines as he opined on gender pay disparity. He talked about the differences in pay among men’s and women’s tennis players.
Talking to an Italian magazine, Nadal said that a comparison between pay shouldn’t be made, because of viewership disparity.
“It’s a comparison we shouldn’t even make. Female models earn more than male models and nobody says anything. Why? Because they have a larger following. In tennis too, who gathers a larger audience earns more,” said Rafael Nadal.
It is worth noticing that ATP and WTA are two seperate entities. Even when the prize money in the Grand Slam tournaments is same for both men and women (with Wimbledon being the last one to do so, more than a decade ago), pay-gap in various other tournaments still persists.
There are 58 WTA tournaments in an year, as compared to 68 ATP ones. The prize money is based on the sponsorship deals every tournament gets.
Rafael Nadal is not the first men’s player to vouch for viewership as basis for pay. In 2015, Novak Djokovic made similar comments.
“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 why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve,” Djokovic said.
The viewership stats for the French Open are yet to be published. However, the ones from Australian Open final revealed that the Federer-Cilic match received 25 per-cent more viewership than the women’s final between Wozniacki and Halep.