BRITISH No 1 Andy Murray has told Sergiy Stakhovsky he will not change his support for equal prize money.
Murray is joining Ukrainian Stakhovsky on the ATP Player Council, and there are likely to be some feisty exchanges given their differing views.
Murray is the staunchest defender of equality in the men’s game, while Stakhovsky, whom Murray beat to win the junior title at the US Open in 2004, is the most vocal opponent of equal prize money.
The pair engaged in a Twitter spat in March when debate was ignited again by the controversial comments from former Indian Wells tournament director Ray Moore.
Murray will be joined by brother Jamie on the Council, and Stakhovsky is reported as saying: “Maybe when they get to be part of the negotiation of prize money they will see what it means to increase the prize money and what it means to be pulled back by equal prize money. It is emotional, but I don’t see it as rational.”
Murray accepts there are nuances to the issue, but does not expect his principles to change.
“I wouldn’t have thought so,” he said. “I know there’s certain events, like in Washington, for example, where for the men, it’s a 500, for the women, it’s a smaller event.
“In Brisbane, the men, it’s a 250 event, for the women, it’s a bigger event. Things like that you can understand a little bit more. But, no. Sergiy isn’t always right. Everyone has opinions. I’m wrong sometimes. He’s also wrong sometimes.”
There were no first-round dramas for Murray on the court at Wimbledon as he eased past countryman Liam Broady.
After being taken to five sets in his first two matches at the French Open, Murray needed just an hour and 42 minutes to defeat 22-year-old wild card Broady 6-2 6-3 6-4.
The match finished moments before rain arrived, and Murray, who next plays Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei, was content with his performance. He said: “It’s not that easy playing someone you know so well, but I did okay.
“I hit the ball pretty clean. I think offensively was good. I felt like I could have moved a little bit better. I didn’t defend as well as usual. But I served well. That was pleasing.
“I had maybe a couple of chances in the third set to go up a double break. Maybe I could have done a bit better there. But, for a first match, to get it done in three sets is good.
“The French Open was tough for me. I had a couple of long matches to start the tournament. I have also done it a lot of times in slams where I have been quick in the first week. I just need to try and understand why that’s been the case in the past, and hopefully I can have another good start here.”
Murray’s meeting with Broady was the first time in a decade two British players have faced each other in singles at a grand slam and the first time in 15 years at Wimbledon. The first two sets were one-sided and went by in only 55 minutes, but Broady dug in admirably after dropping serve in the opening game of the third set.
The world No 235 said: “At the end, we’re walking off the court, he asked me if I enjoyed it. I was like, ‘Yeah, of course I did. I played Andy Murray on Centre Court. What can’t I enjoy?’”