It was a long time coming, but after more than three decades since the Women’s Tennis Association was founded, all four Grand Slam tournaments finally agreed to award equal prize money to both male and female athletes. Now the WTA is pledging to ensure that its players receive identical paychecks at other top-tier events.
On Tuesday, the St. Petersburg, Florida-based organization revealed that it is revising its season calendar and rules regarding tournament entry requirements. Additionally, the WTA is establishing a “pathway to equal prize money” for its players.
The WTA has set a goal of achieving matching payouts for all rounds of singles at the joint WTA-ATP 1000 and 500 events – the two tiers just below the four Slams – by the year 2027. Furthermore, the organization aims to guarantee that single-week WTA-only 1000 and 500 events played simultaneously but in different venues from their ATP-only equivalents offer the same amount of prize money as their male counterparts by 2033.
All proposals will require approval from the WTA Board of Directors in August, which the tour organization anticipates approving. The proposed changes include increasing the number of 1000 tournaments to 10, with events in Beijing (2024), Cincinnati (2025), and Canada (2025) expanding to two weeks with larger fields. Other proposals include new guidelines to encourage leading players to participate in the largest events and announcing singles rankings based on best 18 results, plus the WTA Finals.
Women’s Tennis Association Announces Equal Pay at All Tournaments
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced that all women’s tennis tournaments will offer equal prize money to men’s events. This historic move is set to take effect from the beginning of the 2023 season. By doing so, the WTA has shown its commitment to providing equal opportunities and treatment for women in sports.
This comes after years of campaigning, with many high-profile tennis players leading the way in advocating for an end to gender-based pay disparities in the sport. The pay gap has been particularly evident in tennis, and one recent example was at the 2022 Italian Open, where Novak Djokovic earned more than double what Iga Swiatek earned for winning the tournament.
This decision follows Italian Tennis Federation’s 2025 initiative to give women the same prize money as male players. The WTA has responded to this by striving to achieve this commitment at more tournaments in the future.
Billie Jean King, the trailblazer who founded the WTA in 1973, has long been a vocal advocate for equal pay in tennis. She was paid far less than her male counterpart for winning the championship in Italy in 1970, which motivated her to push for a women’s professional tour.
The US Open was the first major tournament to introduce equal pay in 1973, while the Australian Open did so permanently in 2001. The French Open and Wimbledon followed suit later on, with the French Open committing to equal prize money for singles champions in 2006 and spreads it to every round in 2007. Wimbledon introduced equal pay across the board in 2007.
“Fifty years after the players found strength in unity, I’m proud the WTA continues to be a global leader focused on providing opportunities,” King said. “and hope that women in other sports and walks of life are inspired by its example.”