Trailblazing 18-time grand slam champion Martina Navratilova says she expects top women players to boycott Indian Wells due to the “extremely prejudiced and very old fashioned” views of its chief executive.
Raymond Moore provoked a storm by saying women players should “go down on [their] knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport”.
“We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players,” said Navratilova. “It would be hard to imagine any women want to play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director.”
The nine-time Wimbledon winner, 59, also took issue with comments from Novak Djokovic, after the men’s world No1 said they should receive more prize money than women as they draw larger crowds.
“Novak Djokovic, as much as I love him, clearly doesn’t understand why, when women and men play in combined tournaments, they must be paid equally,” she added. “I thought we settled that issue years ago.”
Djokovic spoke out after beating Milos Raonic in Sunday’s Indian Wells final, saying that equal prize money was “a very delicate situation” but urged the men’s ATP Tour to “fight for more”.