Wasn't sure if this should go in Sports or P&CE. Mods, feel free to port.

The issue of equal pay in the tennis world is always current, but this year a couple of tournament directors made some comments that got everyone arguing about it even more, ahem, passionately than usual. First, the CEO of the Indian Wells tournament suggested that women players should go down on their knees to thank Federer and Nadal, while making ill-advised remarks on the attractiveness of female players. Then, the owner of the Madrid Open said that women players did not deserve equal pay, while also remarking on the physical attractiveness of the women (he’s obviously a leg man, lol). He also pointed out that the men’s tour brings in a lot more revenue, a fact that cannot be disputed.

The usual response to calls for equal pay is usually something along the lines of “but the men play best of five sets, while the women only play best of three.” This isn’t strictly true, however. The men play best of three in the majority of tournaments with a few exceptions which include Grand Slam events.

Now, Tracy Austin, former champ and Tennis Channel anchor, is suggesting that women should also play best of five, that they have done so before and are willing to do so again (she’s not the first, just the latest to suggest this). Or, alternatively, that all men’s matches should be best of three sets. I’d LOVE to see the women play best of five at Grand Slams. Stamina is not a male preserve, after all. This, in addition to a couple more tweaks of the rules in women’s tennis (no on-court coaching, less time between points) would, IMO, truly equalize the men’s and women’s games and lend credence to the calls for equal pay.

The revenue issue, though, I continue to scratch my head about. Should the men be paid more just because, as a rule, they bring in more money? If so, should Serena Williams get paid more than the other women due to her drawing power? Should Novak Djokovic get paid less if he beats a lowly-ranked player with less drawing power?

I love both the men’s and the women’s tours. My favorite events are when the tours come together, and I get wall-to-wall tennis. I wish this issue could be settled once and for all, and think it’s time a precedent is set for equal pay in women’s sports. It really irritates me that the US women's soccer team, winners of the frickin' World Cup, has to squabble for equal pay with the men's team.

What thinkest thou, sports fans?