Maria Sharapova, No. 1 seed, defeated at Wimbledon
Maria Sharapova lost lost to Germany's Sabine Lisicki Monday at Wimbledon. But Maria Sharapova was outspoken on equal pay for women this week.
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"When Shakira is singing, she is earning more money than most of the men because everyone wants to see her," Simon said. "That's it."Skip to next paragraph
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Simon said he was pretty sure that most male players felt the same way as he did when he talked to them in the locker room.
"Maybe they can't say it, maybe they won't, maybe they will lose, I don't know, $2 million on the contracts if they say that."
After losing in straight sets to Malisse, one reporter suggested that Simon should forfeit 20 percent of his match fee because he had failed to deliver value for money.
"Maria is more famous than me," Simon said. "I know it. She deserves to win more money than me. That's not the problem."
American Andy Roddick, fresh from a straight-sets win over Germany's Bjorn Phau, kept a strict business perspective on the subject.
"It doesn't matter who has an opinion, because I guarantee you, both sides, men and women, we're going to be extremely biased towards our own product," Roddick said.
"I'm just saying that based on any other business in the world, the more you sell, the more you make," Roddick added.
"Let's not make this a gender issue... I'm sure there's a way to figure out who people are coming to watch. 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."
Williams believes the women's game, frequently criticized in comparison with men's tennis which is enjoying a golden era on the back of the huge rivalries among the three top players, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, was worth the money.
All four grand slam tournaments pay the same prize money to men and women, with Wimbledon bringing in equal pay in 2007.
Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association, issued a statement in response to the latest row.
"Tennis, including the grand slams, is aligned with our modern, progressive society when it comes to the principle of equality," Allaster said.
"I can't believe in this day and age that anyone can still think otherwise. This type of thinking is exactly why the WTA was founded and we will always fight for what's right."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
Making a Difference