from Associated Press
Stefan Edberg has hit out at women's tennis, saying it is boring and of poor quality. Edberg said in an interview in Monday's issue of Woman's Own magazine that only a few women are worth the money they earn. The Swede said he and other male players are upset the women "get the same money as us."
"The top eight women are excellent at their own standard, but the rest do little more than make up the numbers, and many of them are paid a lot of money for doing it," Edberg said.
"The men get very angry about that. They know very well that the crowds that come want to see men's tennis and not women's because our game is much more exciting and isn't over in 30 minutes.
"It is really boring to watch. The top players know they are going to win quite easily, while any of us men could be out after the first round.
"Yet, they get the same money as us. A lot of the players, including myself, don't think that is fair," he added.
Though the gap has narrowed significantly in recent years, women generally earn less than men. At the recent French Open, men's winner Michael Chang pocketed $554,328 and women's champion Arantxa Sanchez collected $489,020.
Edberg also seconded remarks made to the same magazine two years ago by Pat Cash, who described women's tennis as "rubbish".
"He was too kind about women's tennis," Edberg said. "I don't just think the No. 100 man in the world would beat (women's No. 1) Steffi Graf; the No. 5,000 would trash her."
In arguing the case for women, Martina Navratilova said sponsor interest proves the strength of women's tennis.
"It is more difficult for us to get sponsorsip because most corporations are run by men, but we've been there for a long time now and we are established," she said.
"Now, people are killing themselves to get on the calendar with a women's tournament. A lot of the sponsors want to put more prize money in."
Graf: Stefan never said those words
Reached by Reuters press agency a few days after Stefan's interview came out, Steffi Graf said she had met Stefan Edberg who completely denied the content of the article published by the magazine Woman's own. We became aware of this detail thanks to the clipping below, that was kindly contributed by fan Cynthia Peterson.
[...] Asked what she thought of a British magazine article, attributed to Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, which said that women's tennis was a waste of time, Steffi said: "I saw Stefan today and he said he had written no such article. He told me the magazine made it up. Not one thing is true about it."
"Stefan could not believe that anyone would think he had said it."
Steffi refused to give her opinion on the difference in standard between men's and women's tennis. "I'm on the women's tour and my goal is not to beat men."
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