After years of holding out against equal prize money, Wimbledon yielded to public pressure yesterday and agreed to pay female players as much as male players at the world's most prestigious tennis 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 at a news conference. "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.
Among those welcoming the move was former six-time singles champion Billie Jean King, a pioneer for women's sports. "This news has been a long time coming," she said. "Wimbledon is one of the most respected events in all of sports and now with women and men paid on an equal scale, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that this is the right thing to do for the sport, the tournament and the world."