Tennis: Australian Open Prize Money Men and Women Equal Pay. Is that Fair Play?

Written by Senior Tennis Editor Peter Gehr

Tennis: Australian Open prize money men and women equal pay. Is that fair play?

Tennis: Australian Open prize money men and women equal pay. Is that fair play?

Now that the first of the grand slam tournaments for 2012 has completed, there’s mumbling in the media about tennis: Australian Open prize money men and women equal pay. Is that Fair Play? Comparisons are being made between the differences between the men’s singles final, and the women’s singles final. The men played for 6 hours, and the women played for 1 hr 20mins. However, I’d like to remind everyone that professional tennis players do not get paid on an hourly basis—they do not have hourly rates.

The prize money for these tournaments is for the achievement of winning, and whether that’s done in 6 hours or 6 minutes it does not matter. Sponsors agree to set prize figures, and in the case of Victoria Azarenka receiving $2.3m for her victory, and Novak Djokovic receiving the same for his, I don’t have a problem with that at all.

Tennis: Australian Open Prize Money Men and Women Equal Pay. Is that Fair Play?

I completely disagree with the following report, and would be interested in your feedback.

Miranda Devine for the Herald Sun writes:

Sports writer Scott Gullan is right. It’s ridiculous that female tennis players receive the same prize money as men.

Last weekend we saw the inequities writ large at the Australian Open final. On Saturday night we saw Victoria Azarenka thrash Maria Sharapova in 1hr 22mins and win $2.3 million. Fans had time to go out for a leisurely dinner afterwards and Sharapova flew home with a tidy $1.15 million.

On Sunday night we saw Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal fight it out for a gruelling, tension-filled, record-breaking almost six hours. Djokovic eventually won the game and the $2.3 million, and fans got home at 3am after waiting for cabs in the rain outside Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.

But there was no question which match gave viewers better value for money.

Let’s not forget that professional tennis players don’t get paid for the sacrifices they make to dedicate countless hours to their sport in practice, training, early starts, gym sessions, food restrictions and special diets.

I realize the main issue is about the fact that women only have to play 3 sets, and men play 5, but these are the procedures, the rules, the guidelines for play and these are understood and agree upon by the athletes.

Gullan worked out Sharapova, who won just three games, earned herself $383,333 per game. That’s compared with her male counterpart, Nadal, who earned a comparatively meager $46,000 per game for his 25 victories. While Azarenka won $1.68 million an hour, Djokovic won $390,935. You get the picture.

Women play only the best of three sets while men play five. Most women don’t play to such a high standard. They provide smaller TV ratings, and thus contribute less to the prize pool.

Just working hard isn’t enough. Performance counts. The demand for equal pay for the sexes in tennis is a symptom of corrosive affirmative action tokenism.

It sets back the real progress of women who want to be awarded fairly on their merits and nothing else. Click here to visit the original source of this post

I disagree entirely with this reporter. These women played hard throughout the entire tournament and fought hard to get to the finals. Tennis: Australian Open prize money men and women equal pay. Is that fair play? Yes, it is in my view. This is prize money, and not related to game duration. If Rafael Nadal had come out on the court and injured himself in the first 30 seconds of play, and retired from the game, Novak Djokovic would have become the winner of the men’s singles final and the prize money would still have been $2.3m. Just take a look at the gaps in prize money that the top 3 men have earned in their careers so far: Federer $68m, Nadal $46m, Djokovic $35m, and compare it with the top 3 women in tennis: Sharapova $18m, Kvitova $7m, Azarenka $11m. I rest my case.

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