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Forward-thinking tennis star thinks female players should be paid less

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When we say forward-thinking, what we actually mean is totally out of touch.

Despite tennis being one of the few sports which treats its male and female elite on equal terms, France’s Gilles Simon stated, "The male players spent twice as long on court at Roland Garros (during the recent French Open) as the women. The equality in salaries isn't something that works in sport.” The player who is the 13th seed at Wimbledon also told the radio station, France Info, “Men's tennis remains more attractive than women's tennis at the moment."

The chair of the Women's Tennis Association Stacey Allaster was appalled by his comments. "Tennis, including the grand slams, is aligned with our modern, progressive society when it comes to the principle of equality. I can't believe in this day and age that anyone can still think otherwise. This type of thinking is exactly why the WTA was founded and we will always fight for what's right." Wimbledon began offering equal prize money to both men and women in 2007 after a unanimous vote by the championship committee.

Last week’s Forbes magazine’s Top 100 Paid Athletes of 2012 list featured a total of three – yes three sportswomen - all of whom are tennis players. Flying the flag for female earners was tennis’ Maria Sharapova who came in at 26th with annual earnings of $27million.However it’s still half of the $54m earned by the list’s number one entrant, boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Picture credits: Rex Features

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