WIMBLEDON, England -- Dutch tennis player Richard Krajicek threw fat into the fire Friday after he was called to explain comments that 80 per cent of women players on the profesional circuit were 'fat pigs'.
Krajicek was questioned on his controversial comments, which ignited the perennial debate about equality of pay for the sexes in tennis, after losing 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6 to Arnaud Boetsch of France in the third round of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
'I said that 80 per cent of the top 100 (women) are fat pigs, but I just over-exaggerated a little bit,' Krajicek said. 'What I meant to say is that only 75 percent, yes.'
Only minutes before Krajicek was interveiwed, Martina Navratilova was asked what she would say to Krajicek if she passed him.
'I'm going to beat him up,' she replied.
When told of Navratilova's joking remark, Krajicek said: 'She should not take it personally, because she's not a fat pig.'
Krajicek, a 20-year-old who lives in Monaco, originally made the statement in an interview earlier in the week with a Dutch radio station.
He had said that women were always complaining they did not earn as mcuh as men.
'I mean we play five sets and they only play three sets,' Krajicek said, 'Don't you think it's ridiculous?'
Later he added, 'What I meant to say, actually, is that a lot of women are overweight, but that's not the point, I was trying to make. It was just something I said afterwards, but they are not fat pigs, 80 per cent. There are a few that are pretty fat, but that is normal.'
Krajicek said women tennis players should be happy with what they earned. He does not think the answer would be for women to play five sets for equal pay.
'The problem is I think -- maybe I'm wrong -- I don't think people want to watch the best of five women, but then maybe I'm wrong,' he said. 'If they do that, then I say OK.'
While Krajicek was speaking to journalists in Dutch, Navratilova walked into the interview room and glanced bemusedly at him.
Asked about fat men players, Krajicek said he did not think there were many in the top 100.
Krajicek said he believed top women players like Monica Seles and Steffi Graf deserved to have equal prize money, 'because they are good and people come to watch them.'
Asked to comment, Navratilova said she would not call her fellow competitors pigs.
'I think you can call them fat -- certainly some of them are, as are some of the men players, I see some pot bellies there,' Navratilova said. 'But that doesn't make you a great player or a lazy player. You get some baseball players who look like they drink beer all day, but they hit home runs.'