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Men's stars 'super weak' if they complain about calls for equal pay, says Czech ace Pliskova

Men's stars 'super weak' if they complain about calls for equal pay, says Czech ace Pliskova
Women's world number three Karolina Pliskova says any male stars complaining over demands for equal pay for their female counterparts are "super weak" - but insisted she is not pushing for parity between the sexes.

Recent weeks have seen renewed calls from the likes of men's icon Roger Federer for the ATP and WTA tours to merge - leading to questions over what that would mean for the pay disparity between the tours. 

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Pliskova, 28, said she did not think that a merger should necessarily facilitate equal pay, but nonetheless criticized any male players opposing the issue. 

“I don’t think so [that a merger should mean equal pay] and I am not the one who wants it. But I don’t like the men who are complaining that we would get the same money,"said the 2016 US Open finalist.  

"I think it is super weak from them that they complain we have the same money as them.

“The only time it is true is at grand slams. I understand they play longer, but they are men. They are stronger than us. I don’t see the reason why we should compare each other."

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The former world number one added: "I don’t need to have the same prize money as men. But to have the same chance to play on center court or to have the same chance to be on TV, that should be possible with these changes.”

Federer's calls for a men's and women's tour merger back in April were met with widespread support, although some such as Aussie star Nick Kyrgios later spoke out against the step. 

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Pliskova said she would advocate the move, but that the ATP must not feel like it is being short-changed over any merger.  

“I think for the women’s tour it can only help. I don’t know exactly what they are discussing but if there is any chance to say yes, then I would say yes," she said. 

“It needs to be positive also for the ATP. They need to find a balance so it is a forward step for both.

"It might take a couple of years to get going. It will be different, but I don’t think for the players it would change that much. It would be a good step.”

As with her fellow pros, Pliskova has been sidelined since the WTA suspended the tour in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

However, she is finally expected to return to action on home soil at the LiveScore Cup in Prague next week. 

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