Women Don't Deserve Equal Prize Money at Wimbledon

Jordan Schwartz@jordanharrisonSenior Writer IJuly 2, 2009

It's the men who should be fighting for equal prize money.

Wimbledon is now in its third year of equal pay for both men and women, but when you take a look at how much time the players are actually on the court, the pay isn't equal at all.

Alex Dimond recently took a great in depth look at the debate, but I just wanted to add to the conversation with some statistics.

Since the entire tournament isn't over yet, I used the men and women who lost in the quarterfinal round as an example.  They will each earn \$174,133 for their efforts, but the women actually make 50 percent more than the men per hour.

Lleyton Hewitt spent 13 hours and 14 minutes on the court in his five matches, Juan Carlos Ferrero played for 11:14, Novak Djokovic toiled for 11:38, and Ivo Karlovic ran around for 10:58.

That's an average of 11:46, which breaks down to \$14,799 per hour for the men.

On the women's side, Sabine Lisicki played her five matches in 8:35, Agnieszka Radwanska was on the court for 8:34, Francesca Shiavone competed for 8:09, and Victoria Azarenka saw just 6:54 of time on the grass.

That's an average of only 8:03, which breaks down to \$21,631 per hour for the ladies.

Now, I know what you're thinking: who the heck are Sabine Lisicki, Agnieszka Radwanska, Francesca Shiavone, and Victoria Azarenka?

Exactly.

Not only do the women play best-of-three set matches instead of best-of-five like the men, but the ladies' game is far less entertaining and its athletes are much less recognizable.

One of the most popular women on tour is Venus Williams, who just advanced to the finals with a thrilling 6-0, 6-1 victory over top seed Dinara Safina.

Let me repeat that: the No. 1 seed lost 6-0, 6-1.  How is that possible?  Imagine paying a lot of money to see that in person.

It's taken Venus Williams just 6:34 of court time to win six matches and reach the finals.  By comparison, Andy Murray's fourth round match with Stanislas Wawrinka was 3:57 alone.

So let's say Venus beats her sister, Serena, in another one of those stellar 1:30 Williams sisters finals.  That'll be a total of only 8:04 for Venus to earn a \$1.4 million check, or \$172,480 per hour.

If Roger Federer wins his 15th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this weekend, he'll make only about \$100,000 per hour.

That doesn't seem fair.

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