Djokovic clarifies comments amid backlash


World number one Novak Djokovic has apologised for suggesting men deserve more prize money than women, with the 11-time grand-slam champion insisting he wants fairer pay for all.

Djokovic sparked outrage among some on the WTA Tour, namely world number one Serena Williams, after claiming men should "fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches".

His comments followed those of former BNP Paribas Open chief executive and tournament director Raymond Moore, who started the row after he claimed females "ride on the coattails of the men."

With 21-time grand-slam winner Williams left disappointed by Djokovic, the Serb then took to his official Facebook page to clarify his comments, which he felt were not articulated well.

"I typically use this page to share my excitement with you, especially after big wins. But this time I had to take a few deep breaths before addressing you," Djokovic wrote.

"As you may have seen, I was asked to comment on a controversy that wasn't of my making. Euphoria and adrenalin after the win on Sunday got the best of me and I've made some comments that are not the best articulation of my view, and I would like to clarify them.

"As you all know, I care deeply about the future of the game and all of the players. Tennis helped me so much in my life and being where I am today, I felt the need to speak about the fairer and better distribution of funds across the board - this was meant for both men and women. We all have to fight for what we deserve. This was never meant to be made into a fight between genders and differences in pay, but in the way all players are rewarded for their play and effort.

"Tennis is a sport that I love and that gave me the opportunity to help others who still have a long way to go to achieve their dreams. This was my view all along and I want to apologise to anyone who has taken this the wrong way."