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WTA’s Bold Plan For Pay Equity Could Take A Decade

  • Top combined ATP-WTA events to have full pay equity by 2027, non-combined events by 2033
  • Moves advance a decades-long fight for equality in tennis
David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the WTA made its boldest step yet in a decades-long battle for gender pay equity on tennis’ top tours — but in some cases, women’s players will need to wait as long as another 10 years for the shift to fully take effect.

The new structure will offer full pay equity for combined WTA and ATP 1000- and 500-level events — the sport’s top competitions outside of the majors — by 2027. Non-combined 1000- and 500-level events will offer equal prize money by 2033.

“Equality, including equal compensation, is a fundamental principle of the WTA, and it is crucial to attain at this level,” said Steve Simon, WTA chair and CEO.

The effort seeks to correct a situation where men play for far higher purses at many leading tour stops, such as the key U.S. Open tuneup Western & Southern Open. At that tournament last year, women’s players competed for $2.53 million, while the men vied for a $6.3 million prize pool.

Full pay equity was established at tennis’ four majors in 2007 and will remain in place at Wimbledon 2023, which starts July 3. As part of the “solidified pathway” to equal prize money, the WTA also revised its tour calendar to include more 1000- and 500-level tournaments.

The effort is thematically similar to FIFA’s ongoing push to achieve player pay equity in men’s and women’s World Cups by 2027.

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