Wimbledon maintains money disparity

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The Independent Online

The women players have achieved pay parity with the men at the Wimbledon Championships next June - but only in the sense that the singles prize money has been increased by 4.8 per cent for both.

As usual, there is disparity in the actual amounts: a total of £3,296,810 for the men's singles competition; £2,825,630 for the women. The men's singles champion will win £602,500 and the women's champion will win £565,500. The total prize pot is £9,707,280, an increase of 3.6 per cent on last year.

Tim Phillips, the All England Club chairman, said: "Both singles champions winners will receive in excess of a million dollars on the basis of the current monetary exchange rate.

"I was at a meeting in Los Angeles earlier this year where I gave the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) a presentation on why we do what we do with prize money, and they gave their perspective at a dinner here in London some time later.

"But we have not been persuaded. We are just trying to be fair to men and women. Don't forget, the ladies' prize pot is over four-and-a-half million dollars."

The mixed doubles draw will be reduced from 64 to 48 pairs. "We've often had a lady in three events on the second Wednesday or Thursday," Phillips said. "By having a smaller mixed doubles draw it's going to help manage the schedule."

Security at the tournament will be tighter than usual. This will include the removal of the left luggage inside the grounds and extra searching of spectators. At the same time, Phillips is keen not to turn Wimbledon into an entirely all-ticket pre-ordered event. "We don't want to lose the wonderful tradition of queuing for tickets on the day at Wimbledon," he said, "but we need to manage those queues and we were happy with how we did it last year.

"This time there will be around 500 Centre Court tickets on sale every day, in line with number one and number two courts."