Nick Kyrgios receives brutal backlash following infamous take on equal pay in tennis and ATP-WTA merger

Nick Kyrgios, the mercurial Aussie tennis player who is well-known for his controversial personality on the court, is now taking his knack to ruffle feathers off the court too. Nick has been a huge presence on television these past few weeks after he appeared as a pundit on Tennis Channel for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Using his newfound platform to vocalise his views, Nick has offered his opinion on a much-supported topic: equal play in tennis, and the hotheaded Aussie has a controversial take on the issue.

Nick Kyrgios talks on equal pay in tennis

After Billie Jean King threatened to boycott the 1973 US Open, the grand slam became the first of its kind to offer equal pay for men and women. The Australian Open( 2001 ), the French Open( 2006 ) and Wimbledon( 2007 ) soon followed suit and both genders have since stood on equal ground at major grand slams.

Some argue that men who have to play five setters as compared to the three that women play mean that men should be paid more. Nick sided with them regarding the issue, saying that time spent on the court was directly proportional to the money earned.

I played for four hours at the A.O. (Australian Open), then [Elina] Svitolina played for like 40 minutes and we both got paid the same,” the Australian told The Athletic.

Fans were left incensed by his comments and many highlighted his hypocrisy in handling topics of prominent interest by pointing out his domestic struggles involving abuse of women.

Nick also talked about a merger between the WTA and the ATP tours, something which he had no intention of supporting.

Nick Kyrgios shares candid views on ATP-WTA merger

Roger Federer had vocally supported the merger of the WTA and the ATP tours into one single entity that works towards popularising the sport of tennis.

“Just wondering, am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one? I am picturing a merger between the WTA and ATP,” the Swiss tweeted three years ago.

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Nick Kyrgios speaking on the Tennis Channel, via

Nick Kyrgios saw the possibility of its occurrence as too far-fetched and opined that the main draws of both governing entities had to be merged, which essentially means men and women would have to play together in the same match or against each other.

“If we’re merging, you merge the draws, you merge everything. But why is tennis the only sport that deals with this stuff? If the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) said, ‘Let’s merge’, the NBA would ridicule them,” Nick said.

Nick Kyrgios’ comments could be interpreted as a vicious form of toxic masculinity and machismo or as a poignant look at the difference between two disparate genders. Either way, the Aussie continues to be a prominent figure in providing controversy to viewers.

What are your opinions on Nick Kyrgios’ controversial comments? Let us know in the comments section below.

Dwarakesh Murali

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