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Djokovic supports gender equity after controversy

AFP logoAFP 24-03-2016
KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia fields questions from the media during the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPKEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia fields questions from the media during the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP © Provided by AFP KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia fields questions from the media during the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPKEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia fields questions from the media during the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic supported equal prize money for men and women tennis players Wednesday after a firestorm of controversy over suggesting men drew bigger crowds and deserved better paydays.

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"I never had an issue with equality in gender or sport or other areas of life," Djokovic said at the ATP and WTA Miami Open. "We all deserve more of the wealth distribution from the tournaments."

The 11-time Grand Slam singles champion apologised as he had in a statement Tuesday. "I feel very sorry if I hurt my female colleague tennis players," Djokovic said. "I have a huge respect for all of them."

Djokovic said he had sent messages to Andy Murray, Serena Williams and others who had been critical of the comments made in the wake of his victory in Sunday's final at Indian Wells.

"I never had any intention to offend them or come up with any negative connotations in my statement," Djokovic said. "I don't make any differences between the genders. I am for equality in the sport."

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