Martina Navratilova: female tennis players could boycott Indian Wells

  • 59-year-old responds to tournament CEO’s comments about WTA4088
  • Raymond Moore said women ‘riding on the coattails’ of men in tennis
  • Martina Navratilova has suggested that female players
    could boycott one of the most prestigious tournaments in tennis after its chief executive caused outrage with remarks that women were “riding on the coattails” of the men’s game.Raymond Moore, the chief executive of the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California, one of the sport’s biggest outside the four grand slams, sparked controversy on Sunday when he said: “If I was a lady player, I would go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born.”

    He later apologised, but the damage had been done. Navratilova, a winner of 18 grand slam singles titles, said: “It is really disheartening to see Ray Moore offer the extremely prejudiced and very old-fashioned statements regarding women tennis players. We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players, and will continue to do so. It would be hard to imagine any women wanting to go and play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director.”

    The chorus of condemnation had been led by Serena Williams, the winner of 21 grand slam singles titles who, after playing in the final at Indian Wells, called Moore’s comments a disservice to tennis legends such as Billie Jean King, as well as every woman on the planet that had ever tried to stand up for what they

    King reacted to Moore’s comments by writing: “He is wrong on so many levels. Every player, especially the top players, contribute to our success.”

    Williams said: “We as women have come a long way. And we shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point. I think there are a lot of women out there who are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men who are exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways. I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.”

    The president of the US Tennis Association also attacked Moore’s comments yesterday. Katrina Adams, who played on the WTA Tour for 12 years, reiterated the USTA and US Open’s commitment to player equality. “There is no place in this sport for antiquated, sexist or uninformed ideologies,” she said. “And the comments made in no way reflect the beliefs of the vast majority of those in the tennis world.”

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