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tennisIlove09
Jun 24th, 2006, 10:53 PM
Venus joins fight for equal Wimbledon pay

Poll says 80 percent believe men, women should get equal prize money

LONDON - Opponents of Wimbledon’s unequal prize money cranked up the debate Friday, enlisting a charity organization, a new survey, tycoon Richard Branson and defending champion Venus Williams to back the case for equality.

The men’s singles champion will receive $1.170 million to $1.117 million for the women’s singles champion, a $53,000 difference. There are also differences in prize money between men’s and women’s doubles in the tournament beginning Monday.

On Friday, the Fawcett Society, a charity which campaigns for equality between women and men, accused the All England Club of being out of touch with public opinion after it released surveys showing Britain was against Wimbledon’s unequal prize money.

It said a survey carried out by ICM Research found 80 percent of people felt the club was wrong to treat players unequally when it came to prize money.

It also said over 67 percent of respondents to a separate poll said Wimbledon organizers would send out a more positive message to women if the purse money was equal.

The ICM poll interviewed a random sample of 1,012 adults aged over 18 across Britain by telephone on June 14-15. The second poll interviewed a random sample of 2,239 adults through the Internet in early June.

Society director Dr. Katherine Rake said the All England Club should “play fair” and listen to the views of the British public.

“It’s outrageous that they reward male and female tennis players so differently. But sadly, it’s not surprising, as we’ve still got a terrible pay gap problem in this country,” she said.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that does not offer equal prize money. The French Open this year joined the Australian Open and the U.S. Open in offering the same amount to men and women.

Wimbledon officials have said in the past that because top men rarely play in Grand Slam doubles events, they earn less overall than women. And men play best-of-five sets matches while the women play best-of-three.

The Women’s Tennis Association, which issued the survey results by e-mail Friday, also called on Wimbledon to award equal prize money.

Branson, a member of the WTA’s global advisory council, criticized the policy.
“The outdated position adopted by the All England Club tarnishes the good name of the world’s greatest tennis tournament and sends a completely negative signal to women everywhere,” the billionaire entrepreneur said.

Williams said she was pleased that the poll showed Britain wanted a change.

“With the British public clearly sharing our principles on equality, I truly hope that Wimbledon ... listens to the views of the public and the players, and does the right thing next year by awarding equal prize money,” Williams said.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

vwfan
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM
Go ahead, Venus take a stand!

Hopefully, you will the first player to accept the winner's check when the prize money is equal next year. :lol:

ezekiel
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:46 PM
there are no rivalries in women's tennis lately so I say no

Abizack
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:59 PM
I say why not at this point in time. I would still like to see the women play best of 5 sets at the slams and best of 5 sets in certain Tier I event finals. With so many of the women being out hurt these days best of 5 sets would probably ruin a lot of women though. Something to think about if I was a WTA player asking for equal money.

ezekiel
Jun 25th, 2006, 05:04 PM
I think women should be happy that money is close by in slams and other tournies they share with men as separate women's tournies have much less money.

Maryamator
Jun 25th, 2006, 08:26 PM
womens is more intresting though.. u never know who will make it..