well, i'm not on simon's side on this one. i'll try to make it short but that's probably impossible. i don't think that pulling the "economic argument" means that it is a valid "natural argument". economy is based a lot on assumptions, and as you said, claiming that Women tennis is not as attractive is certainly a matter of opinion, not a fact of nature.
i admit, can't really stand women's tennis nowadays. but is that a reason to pay them less to be pros? i doubt it. simon feels comfortable hiding behind that obscure economic value, but where does he get the whole info that women's tennis is not profitable? and why not take it 1 step further? how many people would actually pay to see him play? as a die hard fan i can say not a lot. probably not more than the average WTA player ranked parallel to him and perhaps even less. so, basing it on this "economic argument" - that i don't "feel" he can attract a lot of crowd, he should be making probably less money than he does today.
let's take it another notch. Federer, Nadal and even Djoko and Murray are subsidising Simon's profits. in that same "economic argument", Simon has to set aside a portion of that money to them. why base the decision simply on gender if we are talking about economy?
Nadal and Djoko played the Rome final, 2 sets in 2 and a half hours if i remember correctly. so, should they be paid more because the match lasted longer? Federe's matches are shorter on Avg than the rest. should he be taxed for that? what should we conclude about it? that tennis is an hourly paid job and therefor the players who take more time on the court should be paid more, by the hour? one might claim that for the sake of equality, women should play a 5 setter in GS. however, that's a moral decision. not so long ago a lot of the masters were best of 5 in the finals. it was cancelled, probably for TV and other commercial stuff, thus, the economy. was that a sportive decision? are prize money any lower now? don't think so. once again, the "economic argument" is mixed with other agendas. tennis in general is a sport and so the salaries are not determined by the amount of time you spend on court, it derives from the level you are able to reach and the amount of people taking interest - regardless if it's in a long tennis season or a very short NFL season. again, in terms of equality, one could ask for women to play 5 sets in GS. in that same perspective, men can play best of 3. prize money shouldn't alternate massively because of that.
not so long ago, women's tennis had Venus and Serena, Justin and Kim, Maurasmo, Devenport, Capriati here and there - on the men's side things were pretty dull, you know, Federer. today, the WTA is probably at a low point. still, things could change. are we going to to ruin the only sport in world that at the moment pays equal prize money and can produce house hold icons like Serena and Maria because of what? in a couple of years who know, the WTA can be on the rise again and the ATP in the slumps. so should we pass the money back and forth based on our ideas and thoughts of what is "good and proper" tennis? i'm sorry, but the world is not fair to women, and every person is infected with it, well almost. yes, myself included. however, the fact that women's tennis is as successful and is able to pay players and make women as famous as men is a blessed thing. one should only hope that other sports follow. as for the WTA situation today, they certainly have a big problem there, but it's a management and leadership problem and i'm sure it's a question of tides and lows.
few things i can agree is that joint events probably crowded, they should answer that problem if most players feel that. again, didn't hear Roger complaining about it but that's not the point anyway. and that players should earn more money in early rounds, especially in smaller tournaments. Tipsi had a valid point: in NBA, the players get 51% or so if the revenue. in tennis only 13%. if you want to pick up a fight, that's where you need to go, not bashing the women tour.
p.s. in all this argument, i still think he was very unwise to vocal his opinion on equal pay. some questions, especially in his status, are better left unanswered. nothing brave about it, just immature.
well, hope no one gets too pissed off that i don't take Simon's side, i just feel very disappointed with this. still, if anyone knows how to get a practice session with him, please lemme know