Emma Raducanu claims female stars are ‘technically better’ than their male counterparts as she slams ‘UNFAIR’ and ‘HUGE’ gender pay gap in tennis

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Emma Raducanu has hit out at the gender pay gap in tennis and claimed female stars are underappreciated.  Raducanu, 21, dramatically burst onto the scene as one of British tennis’ brightest prospects when she won the US Open in remarkable fashion at the age of 18 in 2021.  However, she has struggled with injuries over the past two years, but has gradually been stepping up her comeback in recent months and is set to take part in qualifying for the French Open next week.

And, ahead of the iconic event at Roland-Garros, Raducanu – who narrowly missed out on automatic qualification – insisted that women don’t get the credit they deserve and expressed her thoughts on the differences to the men’s game.  ‘A lot of women’s players are technically better,’ she told The Times. ‘They rely on speed, agility and brain rather than brute strength.  ‘The prize money gap is huge on the ATP tour, which I don’t necessarily think is fair, but equally playing three sets in the slams is a lot better than the men’s five, which is brutal.’

In relation to the prize money, the French Open will give equal sums to both sexes, with both male and female winners set to receive €2.4 million (£2.1m), but this is not the norm.  For example, the Italian Open this week is offering £550,000 to its female champion, compared to around £750,000 to the winner of the men’s tournament.  Meanwhile, Raducanu has always outlined her full dedication to her craft, but she continues to receive criticism for her various marketing and sponsorship commitments, with some arguing it has impacted her development on the court.

These include lucrative deals with the likes of British Airways, Porsche, Evian, Nike and HSBC among others.  However, the 21-year-old Brit insisted she is extremely driven and said her success comes from her family’s strong work ethic, describing her parents Ian and Renee as ‘pushy’ during her youth, before she added that she does not ‘regret any of their methods’.

She explained: ‘They are so pushy. When I was younger more so. Now they are at a place where they tell me what they think is best, but they realise ultimately that the more they push the more I am going to resist.  ‘I’ve seen some great people who I was playing with in the juniors who had way more lenient parents, who were like, “It’s OK if you lost”, and those players don’t play tennis any more, so I don’t blame my parents for it.’

She continued: ‘My parents were very much against that (boyfriends) as it interfered with training.  ‘When I was younger I wasn’t even allowed to hang out with my girlfriends. A lot of the time I was very resentful.  ‘But it made me very confident and comfortable in my own company, which is also a big strength.’


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