Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wimbledon's Disparate Treatment of Women Players

Continuing on the same theme of an earlier post, women tennis players are being given the proverbial shaft. According to a recent article in yahoo sports, Wimbledon announced on Tuesday that it would remain the only grand slam event not to pay its men's and women's champions equal prize money. In contrast...

French Open organisers announced last month that they would pay their men's and women's singles champions the same prize money of 940,000 euros ($1.13 million) this year, though they were criticised by the WTA Tour for not applying the equality throughout the draw.

The other two grand slams, the Australian and U.S. Opens, have long offered equal money to men and women players.

So, what accounts for the difference at Wimbledon?

Russian Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, said: "Women's tennis players are getting as many sponsors and media coverage as the men, and I understand that our TV ratings at the Grand Slams are pretty much equal to and often better than the men so I don't understand the rationale for paying the men more than us."

Dunno. Go figure.


LAMoneyGuy said...

I used to watch a lot of tennis as a kid (Jimmy Connors, Chris Everett, Martina Navratilova) and remember the disparity. I'm surprised to hear that it continues today.

Maria is right. Women's tennis gets just as much media coverage. I find women's tennis to be more interesting to watch. With the advances in raquet technology men's tennis has become just a power game. Women's tennis still involves finesse, strategy and speed, the things that I valued when I played in high school.

IRA said...

lamoneyguy - Thanks for stopping. Yeah, I tend to agree. I'd much rather watch women's tennis than men's tennis for the reasons you stated.

Molly's Brother said...

LAMoneyGuy--I totally agree with you.

ALthough the disparity between men and women payouts continues, I think we are in the final days. In fact, women's tennis is more interesting to me than men's matches. I would be shocked to find out if women don't bring as many viewers to American television sets as men do. The rivalries and drama of the game are more interesting in women's tennis.