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Serena Williams of the U.S. (R) prepares to shake hands with Zheng Jie of China after defeating her in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 30, 2012. (STEFAN WERMUTH/REUTERS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. (R) prepares to shake hands with Zheng Jie of China after defeating her in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 30, 2012. (STEFAN WERMUTH/REUTERS)

Wimbledon

Serena reacts to comments on equal pay, says get with the program Add to ...

Serena Williams drew a line under the equal-pay spat that has resurfaced at this Wimbledon Championships, declaring the conversation “totally over”.

“That was so 2000; this is 2012. Who is still thinking like that, like honestly? Get with the program,” she said after beating China’s Zheng Jie 6-7 6-2 9-7 in the third round.

Frenchman Gilles Simon raised the thorny topic, saying women should not receive equal pay, and that it was a matter of entertainment levels, not whether a player plays for three or five sets.

“I have the feeling that men’s tennis is actually more interesting than women’s tennis,” the men’s 13th seed said, sparking the heated debate.

Before declaring the issue “totally over”, Serena reiterated her robust stance.

“I deserve to get paid the same amount. I don’t deserve less ’cause I have boobs and they don’t. That’s definitely not the case,” she told reporters.

“I worked just as hard since I was three. I think they worked hard since they were three, four, two, whatever the case is.

“Actually I have a picture when I’m on the court and I’m in a stroller, so even longer than that. I definitely know my whole life has been dedicated toward being a top athlete, and I shouldn’t get paid less because of my sex.”

Embracing Simon’s argument, but countering his opinion, she hit back: “Whenever I play I get a lot of people in the stands. I’m not trying to pontificate or anything, but a lot of people do definitely show up. So that’s what it’s about. You got to be able to bring the crowd.”

 

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