ANDY MURRAY has revealed he has often met sexist male tennis players who reject the notion of equal prize money.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal last month called for the ATP and WTA – the men’s and women’s Tours – to merge for the benefit of the sport.
Though players from the two sexes earn the same dosh at Grand Slams and selected events, there is a discrepancy throughout the majority of tennis tournaments.
Former world No.1 Murray feels there will be plenty of obstruction to combining the two Tours and giving everybody the same cash.
In a joint interview with Billie Jean King for CNN World Sport, Muzza said: “I have had sometimes conversations in the past where there has been prize money increases in the sport.
“Let’s say the first-round loser’s cheque has gone for the men from $8,000 to $10,000.
“And the women’s went from $6,000 to $10,000. I spoke to some of the male players who were unhappy that the prize money was equal.
“I said: ‘Well, would you rather there was no increase at all?’
“And they said to me: ‘Yeah.’ That is some of the mentality you are working with in these discussions.
“Someone would rather make less money so they are not on an equal footing with some of the female players. So there will be some challenges.
“When you have a lot of the male tennis players started to discuss it. That’s very promising.
“It’s really important in these negotiations that when it comes to key decision makers all of them are men.
“And when these discussions happen it’s important not to see this merger through a man’s eyes.
“To bring more women into the decision-making positions so everybody’s voice gets heard and everybody gets protected. If that happens, we have a huge potential as a sport.
“It’s already a special sport. It could be even better.”
Murray used to be coached by 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo – he was one of the first top players to get a female coach.
The Scot, who was influenced by his mum Judy growing up, was surprised by the sexist comments.
The 32-year-old father-of-two-girls said: “When I came on to the Tour, I never saw any female coaches. I didn’t think about it until I spoke with Australian Darren Cahill, the coach of Simona Halep.
“I was coached by mum when I was young.
“When I did employ a female coach, I realised this isn’t how it normally is.
“Every time I lost a match, my coach was blamed for it. I never had that with any of my previous coaches.
“Amelie was a former world No.1, a Grand Slam champion, a fantastic player, extremely qualified to coach.
“That’s when I realised this was a problem and you start to see it more and more. That is when I talked to my mum about it.”