'We do the same work and deserve equality' – Swiatek says WTA elite are more consistent performers than ATP stars
Iga Swiatek considers it a sad state of affairs to see women's tennis lagging so far behind the men's game when it comes to regular tour prize money.
The WTA Tour's top-ranked player earned $120,150 for winning the title at the Stuttgart Open last week, plus a Porsche sports car, when she beat Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the final.
Yet for taking the title at the Barcelona Open in the same week, a cheque of €477,795 ($527,000) went to Carlos Alcaraz.
Those tournaments are considered comparable in terms of status and the quality of their fields, yet the difference between the money on offer was striking.
It offered a reminder of the gap between the elite men and women at regular tournaments, despite grand slam events offering equal rewards.
Swiatek and Alcaraz both compete this week at the Madrid Open, where prize money for men and women is equal, the champion of each event collecting €1,105,265 ($1.2m).
Asked about last week's situation, Swiatek said: "Well, it's kind of obvious what my opinion is, because tennis is one of the sports where we speak about equality. I think it's better than most sports anyway.
"But still, there is a lot we can work on in terms of getting equal prize money on some WTA tournaments compared to ATP on the same level.
"Grand slams are already even, as we know. That's nice, but for sure it would be good if WTA would focus on that, but I don't really want to get into that, because it's a lot of business and sometimes politics.
"I don't think I have a lot of influence. I just can say that it would be nice for our sport if it was equal, especially because we kind of do the same work."
The 21-year-old Polish player defended the women's game as she said: "I also get people who are saying that men's tennis is nicer to watch and guys can do more because they are physically and biologically stronger.
"I think there were a lot of people, for example a couple of years ago, who were saying that WTA is not consistent and that's a shame and it should be better, but right now basically I think we are even more consistent than the guys with our game.
"Watching women's tennis gives the same emotions, and sometimes even more emotions, because we are women and we are a little bit more emotional. But, yeah, I think it would be nice if WTA could make it even."