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“Buy the Italian Open” Pam Shriver invites Serena Williams and other WTA stalwarts to form a syndicate and end the discrimination in prize money

Tennis great Pam Shriver calls her former colleagues and other WTA legends including Serena Williams to buy Tour events and bridge the prize money gap.

Pam Shriver and Serena Williams

20-time Doubles Grand Slam champion Pam Shriver has been one of the most active former players advocating for women’s tennis ever since her retirement in 1997. The American has often spoken on issues pertaining to the WTA Tour and remains active in tennis debates and discussions.

One such debate in tennis has remained the partiality in prize money for Tour events. With many of the ATP-1000 and WTA-1000 events taking place simultaneously, a massive difference can be seen in what the players are paid on their respective tours. The only competitions in tennis to pay equal prize money are the Grand Slams, the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup (formerly known as the Fed Cup).

Even at the Grand Slams, the US Open had to be threatened by a boycott by Billie Jean King in 1973 to make prize money equal. Despite this, the Australian Open till 2001 and the Wimbledon and French Open till 2007, did not make prize money equal, 34 years since the protest led by BJK in the US.

“It’s time to get a former @WTA player syndicate together (MN, CE, BJK, MS, SW, VW, KC,LD…) and buy the women’s Italian Open tournament, put a female tournament director in place and either it stays in Rome with equal prize money or find a new city. @SerenaVentures let’s do this!” tweeted Shriver calling Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Monica Seles, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and other legends to help the sport once again.

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Pam Shriver’s tweet comes days after the Italian Open discrimination was highlighted

Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic with their respective trophies won at the 2022 Italian Open

Shriver’s tweet comes days after the 2022 Italian Open concluded in Rome. The Italian Open in Rome offered 1000-ranking points on both the ATP and WTA Tour with the women’s singles champion Iga Swiatek receiving €322,260. On the same day, Stefanos Tsitsipas, runner-up in the men’s singles event, received €456,720.

Novak Djokovic, the winner of the tournament won €836,355. While no other player has responded to Shriver’s idea yet, it would be interesting to see something of that scale happens on the Tour.

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