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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Novak Djokovic met with former women's tennis greats Billie Jean King and Chris Evert on Wednesday to hear their thoughts about equal prize money, and backpedaled on his comments Sunday after his tournament victory at Indian Wells.
Djokovic made the initial comments after Indian Wells chief operating officer and tournament director Raymond Moore said female players should be thankful to their male counterparts "because they ride on the coattails of the men." Moore resigned late Monday.
The top-ranked Djokovic tried to clarify his stance that men should earn more prize money because they draw more spectators by saying that he does not make any distinction between the genders when it comes to distribution of the wealth.
When pressed on what exactly that means, Djokovic insisted that he has a good relationship with his female colleagues and that he never had an issue with equal opportunity in sports regardless of gender. But he confused the issue a bit when he expanded his thoughts on wealth distribution that is generated at certain tournaments among higher ranked players, saying he meant all players.
Prior to Djokovic's press conference, Evert and Jean King addressed the topic, and Evert pointed to Djokovic's cultural upbringing in Serbia as a possible reason behind some of his views.