Former World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka slammed the “unacceptable” inequality between men’s and women’s schedule. Victoria Azarenka spoke about the unfairness and inequality after her loss 6-3, 6-1 loss against Simona Halep at the Wimbledon Championships 2019 on Friday.
The issue of inequality between men’s and women’s schedule was exposed last month during the French Open where neither the women’s semifinals were player on the Centre Court after rain disturbed the scheduling of the last stages of the French Open.
However, both men’s semifinal was played on the Philippe Chatrier Court while Ashleigh Barty’s semi against Amanda Anisimova was moved to Court Suzanne Lenglen and match between Johanna Konta and Marketa Vondrousova was shifted to the smaller stadium, Court Simonne-Mathieu.
In a post-match press conference, Victoria Azarenka was asked about the difference between men’s and women’s schedule at the Grand Slam event. The Belarusian exploded that women are treated differently than men, not only in Roland Garros but across the board.
“Yeah, I mean, the inequality is very obvious,” Azarenka said. “It’s not only the French Open. I think grand slams have been more equal in terms of scheduling, which is not the case obviously at this year’s French Open, which was unacceptable.”
She further added, “And the rest of the scheduling, there is a big inequality in that, the time slots. It has to be fixed.”
Victoria Azarenka believes that equal scheduling is the next step after their years of fighting awarded them equal prize money at the majors. She continued, “Women should be getting the same scheduling, the same time slots. That’s one of the main issues where we are gonna try to fight for this equality. We have been fighting a lot for equality and prize money. This is the next step, for sure.”
Azarenka also suggested that if women are promoted like men, then the debate about whether they deserve equal prize money in other tournaments would likely not be an issue.
She further added, “We can go back and give 10 years of the same exposure and the same time slots as men’s get, and then we will look at those numbers and you tell me the difference, OK?” she said. ‘Give the same opportunity, and then let’s talk about facts.’
Simona Halep, however, had a different opinion than her opponent. She was also asked whether women’s needs better scheduling like men or not?
She replied, “No, because many players deserve to play on main courts. We are changing a lot. If I was No 1 a few months ago doesn’t mean that I have to play on Centre Court every time. Now I’m No 6, now it’s normal to play on Court 2.”
“I think people want to see many other players in women play on big courts. I have no problems with that. Everywhere I play, I enjoy. I try to focus on my game, not where I play,” Simona Halep further added.