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Tennis Results Players Stats

Your Take

Inequality in Grand Slam prize money

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Posted: Friday June 18, 1999 03:53 PM

  Pete Sampras and Martina Hingis Pete Sampras plays longer matches agaisnt stronger and faster athletes than Martina Hingis, but the women's game is rising in popularity. AP asked readers should men and women receive equal prize money at Grand Slams? Here's a selection of your comments:

Prize money should be equal. Besides men's tennis is really less exciting these days to watch because there are very few good rallies, it's mostly bomb serves and short points. There is hardly any finesse in the men's game these days. Women's tennis is lot more exciting, with some excellent shotmaking and it is intense.
Shrenik Talati, Belle Mead, N.J.

Absolutely not! When women start to play best of five sets in Grand Slams, then there may be a case. However, with most women's matches lasting just one hour it shouldn't even be considered.
Mike Robbosatagui, Melbourne, Australia

No, I don't think the pay should be equal. I think the women should earn more money. I've been watching tennis since 1980 and the women's game since that time has been unbelievable. At that time there was a strong rivalry between Evert and Martina Navratilova, then Seles and Graf came along. Now, there is an infusion of young talent. The women's game is more competitive, more exciting. The glory days for the men of Borg, Connors, McEnroe and Lendl are long gone. No one in the men's game has stepped up to the plate. My apologies to Pete Sampras, but there just isn't any excitement to the men's game. Go to any tennis tournament where both the men and women compete, particularly the Grand Slams and watch where the crowds are.
Kurt Baldwin, Atlanta

I think that he prize money should be equal for men and women. I thought we left the Middle Ages a long time ago ... why should the guys earn more? I think the quality of tennis is just as good (or even better) with the women.
Joris Jacobs, Brussels, Belgium

Women should not receive equal pay at the Grand Slams because they are playing best of 3 while the men are playing best of 5. A grand slam tournament is much tougher for the men and as a result their pay should justify the price they had to pay to win. If women want equal pay, then they should play best of 5.
Ryan Gravender, Charlotte, N.C.

Like it or not, spectators and sponsors recognize the men's game as being in the forefront of pro tennis. The men's game is faster, they are quicker -- their game is much tougher to master! If the women want equal money, then let them enter the men's tournament and see how they do. There is no comparison and it is ridiculous in my opinion. Since it is truly the sponsor's dollars we are talking about here, they should have some input on dollar distribution. All players should be thankful of the outrageous purses available instead of whining about equality. Nobody is getting poor out there in the top 128 and they all get direct entry into the slams. Ladies, stop whining and be thankful.
T.J. Hyman, Redondo Beach, Calif.

The argument has always been that the men deserved more money because they were the marquee players in the game. The alternate argument was that they had to work harder playing best of five sets. Neither argument makes sense. The women's game right now generates much more interest in and out of tennis. There are many more interesting rivalries and personalities. And while the women often get better ratings I have yet to hear someone say they should get more money than the men. With the dominance of the serve in the men's game, especially at Wimbledon, the actual playing time for men's 3 out of 5 matches is often much less than women's 2 of 3 matches. Does that mean that the women should be getting more for being on court longer and providing more tennis for the fans? I think people can make all the excuses that they want, but the men and women should get equal prize money at the Grand Slams, because both add to the event equally.
G. Yosalina

Let the market decide. Sport is never an equal opportunity employer.
Valerie Mallory, Tampa, Fla.

Women have just as many "stars" on the circuit as the men. Anna Kournikova surely draws 'em in as do the Williams sisters -- I would personally run to see Monica Seles -- call me sentimental -- and many of the other top players. Therefore, if the crowd is coming to see "good tennis" the prizes should be absolutely equal!
Bernard Faust, Columbia, S.C.

Women should get more. Men's tennis is dead and boring. After Pete Sampras, who is always hurt, all we have is alphabet soup. The men lack personality and style. Why should I watch men's tennis when the No. 1 spot changes every week. Add the fact that no one is winning anything to be No. 1, and it's just a joke.
Tony Andrews , Huntsville, Ala.

No, the women should not get the same amount of prize money as men -- they should get more! It's amazing to me that Wimbledon, the tournament which produces the most boring men's play of any of the Slams, is the one with the most egregious disparity in prize money. I have not even watched the men's final the last few years. Five sets of aces, serves and missed returns, unreturnable serves, and on and on it goes set after set.
Richard Dodoo, Fairfax Va.

Related information
Wimbledon increases prize money
SI's Terry Baddoo: Wimbledon women don't merit equal pay
U.S. Open purse to total more than $14.5 million
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