So much for the theory that women's tennis rides on the coat tails of the men's tour. Clearly women's tennis is big business in its own right and doing a better job of attracting sponsors to fund record breaking prize money that puts the ATP offering to shame.The eight best women’s tennis players and doubles teams in the world have descended on the complex as the WTA Finals comes to Shenzhen for the first time.
Pound for pound, it is essentially the most lucrative tennis event in history – men’s or women’s. The figures are astonishing: the total prize money stands at $14m (£10.75m), far outstripping the $8m on offer by the ATP’s equivalent event at the O2 Arena in London. If undefeated, the champion will take home $4.725m compared with the record $3.8m pocketed by the US Open champions this year.
Steve Simon, the WTA’s CEO, has said: “There was a true commitment here, trying to do something about ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to women’s empowerment. It made a huge impression on us when we saw someone who didn’t just talk the talk.”
It is clearly a symbolic moment: women being paid more than men, slowly gaining even more access to the money usually reserved for male athletes.
The best women’s tennis players in the world gather in Shenzhen for the most lucrative event in the sport’s history. But might the setting in China overshadow this hugely symbolic moment?www.theguardian.com
So what's the deal here, does the WTA offer a better commercial product, is it better managed, or both?