Navratilova raises Indian Wells boycott issue amid sexism row

Martina Navratilova would not be surprised if women players boycotted Indian Wells in the wake of the sexism row which has engulfed the tournament.

The nine-time Wimbledon champion criticised Indian Wells chief executive Raymond Moore for what she believed to be prejudiced comments that the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) "rides on the coat tails" of the men.

"It was really disheartening to see Ray Moore offer the extremely prejudiced and very old-fashioned statements regarding women tennis players," she said.

"We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players, and will continue to do so in the future.

"It would be hard to imagine any women to want to go and play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director."

Moore has since apologised for his remarks, which drew criticism from world No.1 Serena Williams following her final defeat to Victoria Azarenka.

Navratilova was also disappointed by comments from men's world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who questioned equal prize money in tennis, suggesting men deserve to be paid more than women.

"Novak Djokovic, as much as I love him, clearly doesn't understand why, when women and men play in combined tournaments, they must be paid equally," added Navratilova. "I thought we settled that issue years ago."

Speaking after he claimed a record fifth Indian Wells title with victory over Milos Raonic , the Serb said men should fight for more prize money.

"Obviously it's a very delicate situation," said Djokovic. "Women deserve respect and admiration for what they are doing. You know, equal prize money was the main subject of the tennis world in the last seven, eight years.

"On the other hand I think that our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches."

Press Association contributed to this report.