Martina Navratilova says she would not be surprised if female players boycotted Indian Wells as a result of the row ignited by the tournament’s chief executive.
Raymond Moore said the women’s game “rides on the coat-tails” of the men and that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have “carried this sport”.
Moore, 69, has since apologised.
But Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, says women may not want to play at Indian Wells if he stays in charge.
She said Moore’s views were “really disheartening”, “extremely prejudiced” and “very old-fashioned”.
“We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players, and will continue to do so in the future,” Navratilova added.
“It would be hard to imagine any women to want to go and play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director.”
Navratilova, 59, was also disappointed by comments from world number one Novak Djokovic, who said he believes men should be awarded more prize money than women.
Speaking after his straight-sets win over Milos Raonic in the men’s final at Indian Wells, the Serb said women deserve the money they get, but men should fight for more because their game attracts more viewers.
“Novak Djokovic, as much as I love him, clearly doesn’t understand why, when women and men play in combined tournaments, they must be paid equally,” Navratilova said. “I thought we settled that issue years ago.”
World number one Serena Williams said Moore’s statement was “offensive”, calling it “mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate”.[…]