Sports Outside the Beltway

Wimbledon to pay men and women equally

Now there will be equal pay in at least one sport for men and women.

WIMBLEDON, England – After years of holding out against equal prize money, Wimbledon bowed to public pressure Thursday and agreed to pay women players as much as the men at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament.


The All England Club announced at a news conference that it had decided to fall into line with other Grand Slam events and offer equal pay through all rounds at this year’s tournament.

“Tennis is one of the few sports in which women and men compete in the same event at the same time,” club chairman Tim Phillips said. “We believe our decision to offer equal prize money provides a boost for the game as a whole and recognizes the enormous contribution that women players make to the game and to Wimbledon.

“In short, good for tennis, good for women players and good for Wimbledon.”

Last year, men’s champion Roger Federer received $1.170 million and women’s winner Amelie Mauresmo got $1.117 million.

The U.S. Open and Australian Open have paid equal prize money for years. The French Open paid the men’s and women’s champions the same for the first time last year, although the overall prize fund remained bigger for the men.

The head of the French Tennis Federation, Jean-Francois Vilotte, suggested that the French Open could follow Wimbledon’s example, though no decision is expected before the federation’s next meeting March 16.

I’m not expecting any change in regards to pro golf. The USGA which holds both the Men’s and Women’s Golf Opens, paid Geoff Ogilvy over one million for his 2006 win where as Annika Sorenstam won just $560,000. Professional golf has a way to come yet.

Cross posted to Poliblog’s Deportes and The Florida Masochist

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Can the men pick which side to play on? I’d sure rather play against the women for the top prize than have to face Roger Federer. Plus, it’s less work to play best of 3 rather than best of 5.

Indeed, if they’re going for equality, why not just drop separate gender brackets altogether?

Posted by James Joyner | February 22, 2007 | 05:15 pm | Permalink

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