Andy Murray has hammered home his eagerness to see men and women earn the same prize money in tennis ahead of tonight’s showdown with compatriot Dan Evans.
The Brit, who has won three Grand Slams during his career so far, will be taking part at the Citi Open in Washington this week.
The WTA are pushing for change after it emerged the men’s prize pool comes to $2,013,940, with winner due to pocket $353,455 in Washington.
As for the women, they’ll get a cheque of $123,770 from a prize pool limited at $780,637.
And Murray, speaking ahead of the tournament, has now sent a clear message by saying he feels both men and women should be paid the same.
“I’m totally behind equal prize money,” said the 36-year-old.
“And I think that it is brilliant that a lot of the tournaments on the tour that we have that, and I think that’s really, really positive.
“I think it is difficult for it ever to become truly equal until the ATP and the WTA sort of actually combine and work together.
“That’s my feeling, because I don’t know what the, you know, like what the threshold for tournaments is, like to become a 500 on the ATP Tour, if the ATP will have their set of rules as to what levels they need to reach from a prize money perspective, and I’m sure the WTA have their own.”
He continued: “I always felt like when we’re competing at the same event on the same courts, you know, that we should be playing for, you know, for the same prize money.
“But I think for it ever to become like truly equal, the WTA and the ATP are actually going to have to come together and work as one before that’s the case, because I don’t think it’s that straightforward just now, you know, that both tours have different sponsors, different TV deals, and all of that stuff too.
“There are a few things that still need to change, but I feel like things are going in the right direction, like with the move to, you know, to this event becoming a 500 for both.
“[It] can obviously still get better.”
Murray was also asked about the recent Wimbledon final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.
And the former world no 1 opened up on his observations from that exciting showdown.
“I wasn’t planning on going to watch the match,” said the Brit, who has previously won two titles at the All England Tennis Club.
“I had to do something, and at Wimbledon that day, and then after I finished it was about an hour and a half before the start of the match, and I was, like, ‘I feel like I should stay for this one.’
“I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot from watching, and I think, yeah, probably something like looking back, wish I had maybe done a little bit more of.
“It’s not always that easy to do and sit in the stands and watch matches, because, well, most of the people in there are tennis fans and it can be distracting.
“The end of the match, last couple of sets, I thought some of the tennis was brilliant.
“It was really hard conditions that day.”
Murray and Evans are yet to face off against each other.
But the latter will be hoping to bounce back after a poor showing at Wimbledon this year.