Murray to play for WTA prize money in Rome

By for on

Update: This was an April Fools. Our thanks to the major Spanish-speaking media outlets and the thousands of people on Twitter who fell for it. - Ed
Andy Murray has stunned the tennis world by revealing that he’s agreed to play this year’s Rome Masters for the equivalent of the ladies’ prize money.

The Italian Open is one of the few joint WTA-ATP meetings with a discrepancy in prize money between the two tours. Last year’s men’s singles winner, Novak Djokovic, took home €628,100, while Maria Sharapova, the ladies’ champion, pocketed a ‘mere’ €400,250.

Murray has long been seen as an ardent pro-feminist, going out of his way to back the British WTA stars, supporting the Hopman Cup mixed event and, of course, hiring a female coach in Amelie Mauresmo.

This is a radical response by the Scot to recent insensitive comments from Indian Wells supremo Raymond Moore.

The CEO of the California-based Masters event suggested that female pros "ride on the coat-tails of the men," and that if he was a "lady player" he'd "go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born".

The remarks, seemingly backed up by comments from ATP world number one Novak Djokovic, sparked a social-media firestorm that saw responses from everyone from Serena Williams to Billie Jean King.

At a hastily arranged press conference at London’s Queen’s Club, Murray tonight said, “The Italian Open seems to be the last bastion of male chauvinism. Last year’s female quarter-finalists had to make do with just $46,000.

“They also get a raw deal on perks, with pre-owned Fiat 126 courtesy cars and a poor range of sauces on the fettuccine in the restaurant.

“It’s time someone made a stand. And I’m happy to be that man.”
Just heard about this in a bulletin on 5 Live.
Have to say I would prefer Andy to be concentrating on his own form - but you can't fault his principles.
April 01, 2016, 12:17 am
By matchpoint

The mockery by others heading his way for this will be ridiculous. Otherwise, good to see someone going to these lengths to make a stand.
April 01, 2016, 12:43 am
By Connor

The mockery by others heading his way for this will be ridiculous.

Surely most thinking people will support him in this.     Most of the girls are very tall and should not be squeezed into Fiat 126s.    They may also have strict dietary requirements and surely deserve a good choice of pasta sauces!!!
April 01, 2016, 12:52 am
By Iluvandy

Well I'm certainly right behind him here, and also I'm sure he'll get the support of former illustrious British women players like Annabel Croft and Virginia Wade.
April 01, 2016, 01:14 am
By Aileen

And a happy April 1 to Grab.
April 01, 2016, 01:26 am
By plj

It's 1 hr 28 mins in to April Fool's and I've already been fooled twice.

Disgraceful lack of form from you Connor.
April 01, 2016, 01:29 am
By Connor

Tut-tut ... I was only fooled for all of five seconds until I remembered the date!
April 01, 2016, 01:37 am
By Aileen

Nice one. It sounded plausible until the fettuccine comment.  lol
April 01, 2016, 01:52 am
By invisibleman18

Excellent April fool!
April 01, 2016, 02:07 am
By Tamaragl

And the date is.... Think
Nice one Grab  clap
April 01, 2016, 06:24 am
By blueberryhill

Nice #1st April
April 01, 2016, 07:44 am
By wimbledonwestie

Nice one Grab, better than any of the newspaper spoofs i've seen so far
April 01, 2016, 08:12 am
By althusser

One of your best grab  clap
April 01, 2016, 08:56 am
By Ruthie

Obvious AF from the off, but clever and good and topical enough to be picked up more widely. Well done.
April 01, 2016, 09:44 am
By Fiverings

Yeah definitely has potential to be picked up. Nice one, Nigel Smile
April 01, 2016, 09:51 am
By Mark

Very funny!

Did you see the Australian Open's April Fools prank? Said it was changing the courts to wood from 2017. For a moment my brain went 'faster AO court, Andy might actually get a ball past Mad Eyes'*. Then my brain began to emerge from sleep deprived fog and I remembered the date...

*Mad Eyes is the nickname my Dad has given Djokovic.
April 01, 2016, 10:05 am
By amongsttheleaves

I'm a little sad Nigel didn't go with my idea of a Trump related story involving Andy's hotel lol
April 01, 2016, 10:08 am
By Mark

Some very supportive comments on Twitter:

Amanda Brown ‏@AudioAmanda 17m minutes ago

@audiolympics People can say what they like about Murray's attitude on court but these are the actions that history remembers.
April 01, 2016, 12:29 pm
By Grabcopy

add comment | 75 comments