11-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal made headlines on Tuesady after telling an Italian magazine that the discussion surrounding equal pay for women's players is " a comparison we shouldn't even make" because of the viewership differences.
Nadal related the topic to the difference in pay between female and male models.
Q: “In tennis, should women earn as much as men?”
Nadal: “It’s a comparison we shouldn’t even make. Female models earn more than male models and nobody says anything. Why? Because they have a larger following. In tennis too, who gathers a larger audience earns more”.
— naturelle (@naturelle13) June 9, 2018
According to Yahoo Sports, the Australian Open men's final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic drew almost 25% more viewers than the women's final between Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki – even though both aired on ESPN.
However, when the Williams sisters are involved in Grand Slam events, women's tennis has seen a greater viewership. According to Sports Media Watch, the U.S. Open drew more television viewers for the women's final than the men's every year from 2010-14.
BBC also reports that the ATP men's tour drew 973 million viewers in 2015 compared to the women's WTA Tour, which drew just 395 million.