Tennis has the smallest gender pay gap in sport, but female players still earn around 34.32 percent less than their male counterparts, according to a recent study money.co.uk.
In 2019, Forbes published a list of the highest paid athletes in the world and Serena Williams was the only woman to make the top 100.
A number of top players have spoken out about the discrepancy, with Venus Williams once saying that being paid less than male players was a “slap in the face”.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray has called tournaments that offer women less prize money than men a “step backwards”.
However, Novak Djokovic once took a contrasting view, saying on one occasion that men’s games “attract more viewers” – but later said “all players should fight for what they deserve…regardless of gender”.
Tennis has the lowest gender pay gap in the sport, with female players earning 34.32% less than their male counterparts, and Venus Williams has been a vocal advocate of equal pay, branding it “a slap in the face”.
American player Venus Williams has been a vocal advocate for equal pay in tennis.
In 2005, the day before the women’s singles final at Wimbledon, she spoke to Grand Slam board members and urged them “to think of their daughters and their wives and sisters”. She asked, “How would you like to be treated?”
Two years later, Wimbledon became the last of the four major Grand Slam competitions to introduce equal pay. Fittingly, Williams became the first woman to receive the same prize money in the year of her inception.
Speaking to Variety in early May, the player said it was a “slap in the face” to learn that female gamers were making less than men at 16.
“Getting there and realizing, ‘Wow, I’m not going to get paid right away,’ was definitely a slap in the face for a 16-year-old. … It hit me hard,” she said.
The player said there is still work to be done to achieve perfect pay equity across all sports.
“We’ve fought injustice for thousands of years, so we can’t believe it [change] will happen overnight. We want it, and we’re working at a pace where it would theoretically be possible, but it’s about changing mindsets, changing cultures, changing history, and it’s about not giving up,” she said.
She added that she thought it was easier to discuss the gender pay gap in the US and more difficult to have the conversations in other countries.
World No. 3 Novak Djokovic has made some very confusing comments about the gender pay gap
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic, who has won some 20 Slams over his career, has offered an opposing (and for some controversial) point of view when it comes to the gender pay gap in tennis.
The player has previously suggested that men could earn more if more people watch their games.
He said: “I think our men’s tennis world, the ATP world, should be fighting for more because the stats show we have a lot more spectators at the men’s tennis matches.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get more awards.”
However, he later clarified his comments in a Facebook post, saying the statement did not properly articulate his views.
Djokovic said in his post that “all players, regardless of gender, should fight for what they deserve in terms of a fairer distribution of funds”.
Serena Williams, pictured here during her first round match against Harmony Tan at Wimbledon 2022, says male athletes don’t deserve more prize money just because they’re men
Serena Williams, who is often considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, has said that if she had a daughter and son who both played the game and both started playing at the age of three, they would both “deserve the same.” “. amount of money’.
Speaking of Mirror, She added that “it would be shocking to say that [her] Son would earn more than [her] daughter’ and said it was ‘irrelevant’.
Referring to Djokovic’s comments, she said: “[Djokovic] has a right to his opinion, but if he has a daughter – I think he has a son right now – he should talk to her and tell her that his son is making more money because he’s a boy.
“It all boils down to that. I would never pit one gender against another gender. I think it’s unfair to compare, we’ve had so many great female champions and players who brought such a great vision to the sport. There were great male players too, but women’s tennis is the biggest sport for women – period.
Among the male competitors, Andy Murray also spoke out in favor of equal pay among players
Among the male competitors, Andy Murray also spoke out in favor of equal pay among players.
The player spoke out when it was announced in February that the women’s singles prize purse at the Dubai Championship would be £86,603, while the men’s prize purse was five times that at £435,379.
He said the difference in prize money was a big “setback” and “not great”.
“Of course, if you’re talking about events of the same size a week apart, that’s a pretty big discrepancy,” he added.
While he was world No. 2 in 2016, he said women should be paid the same amount as their male counterparts
“I think there should be 100 percent equal pay,” he said.
“The whole thing doesn’t add up. It depends on the games from day to day. One of the things Novak said was that if women sell more seats and tickets, they should earn more,” he said, referring to his rival Novak Djokovic.
He said the crowds came to see the women as much as the men and that should be reflected in the prize money they were vying for.
Murray, who trained against both boys and girls and played in mixed doubles early in his career, said women make the same sacrifices as men in tennis.
“People often underestimate the amount of work that goes into becoming a top tennis player. And that work ethic is the same whether you’re a man or a woman,” she wrote BBC in 2017.