Tennis prize money row as Coco Gauff paid similar to men’s doubles winners

Chinese tennis star Wu Yibing on his journey to ATP Tour

Anger over the disparity of prize money in tennis between the men’s and women’s game has simmered again after Coco Gauff won the Cincinnati Open on Sunday. The American favourite beat Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-4 to claim her first WTA 1000 title and received around £355,000 for her efforts.

But in the men’s game, Novak Djokovic walked away with more than double that amount following his enthralling comeback victory against world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz. The Serb’s 5-7, 7-6, 7-6 triumph earned him a cool £796,800, dwarfing the figure collected by women’s champion Gauff.

The disparity was further evidenced by comparing the 19-year-old’s prize pot to that of the men’s doubles winners. Máximo González and Andrés Molteni took home around £244,000 as a pair, just over £100,000 less than the women’s singles champion.

But the newly-crowned women’s doubles champions Alycia Parks and Taylor Townsend only received £104,600 in total for their success.

The chasm in prize funds between the two genders has been called out on social media, but not everyone sees the disparity as an issue.

@ArefaSeleho tweeted: “I know okes are going to say ATP pulls more revenue because of ad, viewership blah blah blah but I want to see if Serena was getting paid like for like when she was dominating WTP in her time because viewership for WTP was peaking.”

@thebellower wrote: “It’s ridiculous and unjustified,” and @zaralouise93 added: “Both played best of 3 sets but look at that prize money difference. Not ok!”

But despite grumbles about the clear gap in prize money, many voices felt it was more than justified, given the greater revenue brought into the sport by the men’s game.

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Responding to a tweet from Myles David that broke down the tournament’s prize money, @satish_faction wrote: “Maybe it’s also a good stats to provide how many people tuned on to their tv to watch the respective matches live.

“That comparison will show where the advertising money went which trickles down to the overall prize money! The numbers will add up & become self-explanatory.”

@WessenITC tweeted: “It’s simple math. The men drive ticket sales. It’s a business. If people were flocking to the event to see the women’s matches, the women would get the bigger payout at the end. Same for NBA and WNBA and pretty much all sports.”

@OBGInvestments added: “If the women brought in the same amount of revenue, they would be paid the same. If they brought in more revenue, they would be paid more. How is it fair to the men for them to bring in more revenue but be paid equal?”

Djokovic has earned just shy of £6m in prize money this season alone, while women’s world No 1 Iga Swiatek has banked around £4m in on-court earnings in 2023.

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