Novak Djokovic attempts to clarify comments about prize money

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic apologized on Tuesday for comments he made earlier in the week that suggested men deserve to be paid more than women.

In a Facebook post titled "Better game for all," Djokovic said he sought to clarify his initial comments from Sunday, which he made following his victory at the BNP Paribas Open and hours after the event'sCEO, Raymond Moore, had claimed the WTA rode "on the coattails of the men."

"As you all know, I care deeply about the future of the game and all of the players," Djokovic said in his post. "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 apologize to anyone who has taken this the wrong way."

On Sunday, Djokovic praised the women's game for its efforts on equal pay, which he said men "should fight for more."

"I applaud them for that, I honestly do," he said. "They fought for what they deserve and they got it. On the other hand I think that our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches.

"I think that's one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.

"As long as it's like that and there is data and stats available upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed."

Djokovic has been criticized in recent days for those comments, with current stars such asSerena Williams and Andy Murray and former greats such as Martina Navratilova sounding off.

Moore, meanwhile, resigned from his position Monday.Djokovic had described Moore's comments as "not politically correct."