By Ian Garcia, EnStarz | Jun 29, 2012 10:06 AM EDT
Maria Sharapova hits a strike telling French tennis player Giles Simon, former world no. 6 and winner of ATP world Tour, "You'll never be as popular as me."
Simon recently caused a scandal when he raised an issue regarding the cash prize win, stating that the men's tennis game is more interesting and is deserving of a greater reward prize. He told Wimbledon Press: "It's not only my view, it's the view of everybody in the locker room, even for you, the media. It's just difficult tot talk about it. I don't know why."
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Maria Sharapova is ranked no. 1 in women's tennis. She currently models and has endorsements from Nike, Prince, Canon and several fashion houses and is the "Word's highest-paid female athlete" bringing in an estimated 27.9 million this year.
The 25-year-old tennis star told the Press: "No matter what anyone says, or the criticisms that we get, despite everything else, I'm sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his so - We women have fought so long to get equal prize money. It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It's been a few years since we've gotten that."
Serena Williams added to the fray stating: "Oh, my gosh.. you know I can't bite my tongue - Maria Sharpova is 'Way hotter' than he (Guile Simmons) is, Women's tennis is really awesome. It's a great fight. "
Simon responded, "Of course.. I don't have to respond to that. It's not about me.. Maria is more famous than me. I know."
Roger Federer avoided the issue but Andy Murry said, "Listen, let's not make this a gender issue. I don't know what numbers are."
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