Should Men and Women get Equal Pay in Grand Slam Tennis?

Manus Domini

Hall of Fame
Performance or time? Make up your mind, if you can. They are two different principles.
Both. Neither poor performance nor almost zero time on court should prevent the proletariat player from receiving the same benefits awarded to his fellows. The current hierarchy (which prioritizes performance, which is not fair to those who lack the natural abilities of the upper rankings) weakens the lower ranks, so that the upper ranks can maintain their bourgeoisie lives.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The Slams might gross a 120 player in the world at least 150k a year, but he might not get in an ATP event and earn nothing.

The slams are fairer to both lesser players and women. The ATP is structured in a way that favours mainly the top 30 men.
 

Amritia

Professional
It seems people are repeating the two main reasons for unequal pay that I summarised in the article, without reading my response.

This is the relevant extract:

Firstly for me I see tennis as much more of an entertainment industry than a labour industry. To explain further, I see it as more similar to the West End (entertainment) Market in London and New York- where actors of the top shows will get paid much more than in normal shows; rather than a labour industry such as dry cleaning which could get paid by the hour. So this in my mind makes points number 1 (see above) relatively irrelevant.
Even if you did view the income structure in tennis as more of a 'pay by the hour' scheme- surely then you would have to agree players who are ranked lower than the top 10 on average play more sets and longer (Djokovic for example probably finishes most of his matches in 3 sets, does Robredo?), and Isner not only plays more sets per match on average than Djokovic but more of them go to tiebreaks. Should Robredo and Isner get more on average than Djokovic and Federer as they tend to play more sets and have longer matches?

So therefore the other main argument left against my opinion is point number 2 (see above), ie seeing tennis as a free market and thus rewarding men (who on average bring in more revenue compared to the women according to statistics) with more income. Despite seeing the merits of this point, there are a few flaws. Take Wimbledon 2013 for example. Now Federer is the most popular player in the world, and he lost in Round 2. He took home the same income from that tournament, as Bobby Reynolds. Now sure if we were really upholding the principle of revenue=reward, Federer should have been given much more money than Reynolds for losing in Round 2. So if this debate is used for men against women, surely it can be used for top players against lower players? Should we then therefore try to erode the income of lower ranked players' even further in the name of fairness? No.

My belief is that this 'reward' argument, even if you ignore its flaws, is overridden by the social benefits brought with equal pay.
I want the sport I follow and love, tennis, to set an example to other sports in ensuring that the biggest competitions give equal amounts to both men and women. I want tennis to be the sport that the younger generations can point to and say 'this is the sport where winning the men's Wimbledon Title or women's Wimbledon Title does not influence prize money.'
That I believe is a sport that we can be proud of, rather than one which sees money and revenue as the be all and end all.
 

Ralph

Hall of Fame
I am against gender discrimination, but each should get paid according to the money generated. If women's tennis generates 1/2 the revenue, the should get paid on average half. I don't know the exact figures though.
This, in a nutshell.

I know you pick up on why it shouldn't be the case OP, but I disagree.

OP, what do you mean by "the social benefits brought with equal pay"?
 

90's Clay

Banned
Absolutely not.. The men is what draws the masses to tennis. Sorry but true.


They also don't have to have nearly the court time (best of 5 sets) at the big tourneys.
 

Vanhool

Legend
One thing people leave out is sponsorship of tournaments. I don't know if it's still true, but they used to say women made more of the buying decisions in a household. Advertisers/sponsors want to target the person who makes the buying decisions. Equal prize money infers that women are valued equally, and women tend to like that.
 

TERRASTAR18

Hall of Fame
One thing people leave out is sponsorship of tournaments. I don't know if it's still true, but they used to say women made more of the buying decisions in a household. Advertisers/sponsors want to target the person who makes the buying decisions. Equal prize money infers that women are valued equally, and women tend to like that.
exactly, not to mention the men benefit as well in that wimbly in part s popular due to the women's matches. fed gained fame because of winning wimbly, which in turn led to the big deals he has recieved.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Well, I was highly entertained by Cornet vs. Sharapova. I also enjoyed Cornet vs. Giorgi. So entertainment-wise these gals performed excellently. This isn't the WNBA. These girls can really play. So I'm going with YES. In terms of relation to crowd size and a purely capitalistic view then equal money doesn't make sense but you'd have to pay me to watch Murray vs. Djoker for a whole match despite a nice crowd but Cornet vs. Sharapova or Kvitova and I'm watching for sure. And, yes, it's all about my needs and interests. :) The fan!

In the final analysis: Women should be paid more than the men --if anything.
 
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exactly, not to mention the men benefit as well in that wimbly in part s popular due to the women's matches. fed gained fame because of winning wimbly, which in turn led to the big deals he has recieved.
Fed's popularity in Wimbledon is due to women's matches? Hmmm... :)

Fed's mom gave birth to him. Now, in order for that to happen Fed's dad had to do some pushing before. Just saying this in case you bring up birthgiving too. ;)
 

storypeddler

Semi-Pro
Make the women play a best of five final at the slams. Sharapova and Knapp played 37 games over 3 sets in 110 degree heat a couple of days ago. They can do it.
I always just shake my head when this is suggested. Yes, on the surface, it sounds reasonable. But if you think women's tennis is frequently dull now, just see what you get if you force them to try to play potentially another two sets per match. It will end up being the worst looking athletic performance in any major sport. Will never work. Pound for pound, women don't have the strength nor the endurance that their male counterparts do. The sets-per-match difference reflects the physical difference in male and female players. It is the same in every sport. To require them to play the same amount per match just doesn't hold up in light of the physiology involved.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
I am against gender discrimination, but each should get paid according to the money generated. If women's tennis generates 1/2 the revenue, the should get paid on average half. I don't know the exact figures though.
I've never seen this so-called "overwhelming evidence" that women's tennis generates less revenue than men's. It probably is true if you generalize over the whole field and all tournaments; however, the ratings for the US Open women's finals, scheduling aside, are usually higher than those of the men's, and it is the semis and finals of these big events where the real money is made. Casual fans, ie. the moneymakers, are not tennis purists, and they do not watch anything else. They are likely only to watch even a grand slam final if there is no football on, and little else to do that day.

Anecdotally, I know many people who cannot name even one male professional tennis player. Not Federer, not Nadal, and certainly not vacant-stare-inducing names like Djokovic and Murray. Those same people who cannot name any male players, or at best Federer/Nadal/Agassi, can name a host of past and present female players--whether for the "right" (game-driven) reasons or not, I can only speculate.

The reality is I don't think "political correctness" is a significant factor in this discussion unlike other fields. If it were the case, why do ESPN and other sports stations give equal/greater time on their sports news shows to women's tennis as to men's, but do not devote equal airtime to women's basketball as to the NBA, women's baseball as to the MLB, and so on? The answer is because women's tennis is the only notable female sport that is seen, rightly or wrongly, by the audience at large, as being on par with its male counterpart.

Now, one might contend that women should be paid less, be given lesser airtime, than the men, because the quality of the game is inferior, but then one is deviating from the economics-oriented argument that is supposedly the crux of the discussion. Quality is not the sole driver of demand. If it were, art galleries would certainly generate more revenue than pornography and not need to be subsidized by the state.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
exactly, not to mention the men benefit as well in that wimbly in part s popular due to the women's matches. fed gained fame because of winning wimbly, which in turn led to the big deals he has recieved.
You are talking about off-court earning like commercials and endorsement which is irrelevant with earning prize/money at the slam events. Men tennis generate more revenue so NO way it's fair for the WTA players get equal pay.
 
I've never seen this so-called "overwhelming evidence" that women's tennis generates less revenue than men's. It probably is true if you generalize over the whole field and all tournaments; however, the ratings for the US Open women's finals, scheduling aside, are usually higher than those of the men's, and it is the semis and finals of these big events where the real money is made. Casual fans, ie. the moneymakers, are not tennis purists, and they do not watch anything else. They are likely only to watch even a grand slam final if there is no football on, and little else to do that day.

Anecdotally, I know many people who cannot name even one male professional tennis player. Not Federer, not Nadal, and certainly not vacant-stare-inducing names like Djokovic and Murray. Those same people who cannot name any male players, or at best Federer/Nadal/Agassi, can name a host of past and present female players--whether for the "right" (game-driven) reasons or not, I can only speculate.

The reality is I don't think "political correctness" is a significant factor in this discussion unlike other fields. If it were the case, why do ESPN and other sports stations give equal/greater time on their sports news shows to women's tennis as to men's, but do not devote equal airtime to women's basketball as to the NBA, women's baseball as to the MLB, and so on? The answer is because women's tennis is the only notable female sport that is seen, rightly or wrongly, by the audience at large, as being on par with its male counterpart.

Now, one might contend that women should be paid less, be given lesser airtime, than the men, because the quality of the game is inferior, but then one is deviating from the economics-oriented argument that is supposedly the crux of the discussion. Quality is not the sole driver of demand. If it were, art galleries would certainly generate more revenue than pornography and not need to be subsidized by the state.
All I am saying is that women should be paid in accordance to the revenue generated. And unless you prove otherwise, I'm going to say they generate much less revenue. First of all, consider a slam Final probably lasts 2 hours or less on average for the women than for the men. It's just common sense.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
All I am saying is that women should be paid in accordance to the revenue generated. And unless you prove otherwise, I'm going to say they generate much less revenue. First of all, consider a slam Final probably lasts 2 hours or less on average for the women than for the men. It's just common sense.
Again, this claim is often bandied about, but I have seen no evidence of it.

The only stat I am aware of are respective US Open final ratings. Although scheduling can be an issue, the women's final usually outdraws the men's. Now, the women's final might be shorter, but the increased audience means the ad slots are more expensive, and thus lucrative, than the equivalent ad slots in a men's final.

People here assume because men's tennis is usually of higher quality, it is therefore more popular and therefore generates more revenue. That is not necessarily true, especially when the casual fan (ie. the person who would never think about joining a tennis forum) who at most watches a couple of grand slam finals a year is considered; a fan who is far more numerous than multiple account, tennis-obsessed, puristic forum contributor.
 
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