Once the ladies’ singles prize-giving is over at Wimbledon, everyone’s attention turns to one thing.
No, not the men’s final, but the ever-tedious topic of “should women get equal pay at Grand Slams?”
Those who argue for less prize money for the ladyfolk will have been rubbing their hands with glee as Petra Kvitova destroyed the upstart Eugenie Bouchard with a 6-3 6-0 bludgeoning in less than an hour.
They’ll point to that as evidence that women should get paid less for winning a tournament because they spend less time on court in such crushing wins, and if they want to pocket the same money as the men, they should play best of five sets as well. (Of course, they’ll overlook three-set battles like Maria Sharapova v Simona Halep at Roland Garros just a few weeks ago, which lasted over three hours; about the same length as Rafael Nadal’s four-set triumph over Novak Djokovic the next day.)
It’s odd, but people putting forward this kind of argument never seem to know that the rest of the time, everybody plays three sets.
It’s only at the four Slams that the men are expected to play more; and the women have offered to step it up multiple times, but tournament organisers shake their heads and mutter about “scheduling” as a reason to stick to best-of-three for the beskirted ones.
Prize money, as its name suggests, is a reward for winning a tournament. It’s not really equivalent to a salary, and even if it were, sportspeople don’t get paid by the hour. A male player exhibiting such an impressive display of dominance and sweeping his opponent off the court in straight sets with minimal exertion would be hailed as a true champion.
Privilege to witness a performance like that in a Wimbledon final. Incredible and back where she belongs at last.
— Tumaini (@tumcarayol) July 5, 2014
And that’s exactly what Petra Kvitova deserves. While onlookers and the media fawned over the “new Sharapova”, she stepped on to Centre Court and showed young Bouchard exactly what she needs to do to win a few Grand Slams of her own – and pick up the same prize money as either Djokovic or Roger Federer will do today.
Carrie Dunn | @carriesparkle
- Sports & Recreation
- Novak Djokovic
- prize money
- Petra Kvitova