Maria Sharapova criticizes ATP and WTA over monumental pay disparity, compares prize money of Shanghai and Zhengzhou to prove her point

Sharapova highlighted the notable disparities in prize money between male and female participants.


Maria Sharapova criticizes ATP and WTA over monumental pay disparity, compares prize money of Shanghai and Zhengzhou to prove her point

Maria Sharapova (L) and Coco Gauff (R) (Credits Hello Magazine and Wall Street Journal)

During the Bloomberg Screentime conference with Jason Kelly, Maria Sharapova criticized the ATP and WTA for the wage gap in professional tennis. The five-time Grand Slam winner highlighted the need for a more thorough change in the sport’s financial system. She highlighted the notable disparities in prize money between male and female participants.

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Sharapova didn’t hesitate to address the significant disparities in pay because her transition from the tennis court to the boardroom has given her a unique view on the bigger tennis concerns. Notably, during her talk with Kelly, she brought up the persistent gender pay discrepancy witnessed in the ongoing events.

Just this week, there’s a men’s tournament still happening in Shanghai with the Winner’s prize check of $1.2 million,” Sharapova stated. The stark contrast came to light as she continued, “In the same week, there’s a women’s tournament in China with the Winner’s check at $120,000.” This pointed comparison between the prize money for male and female winners underscores the magnitude of the issue.

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Sharapova calls Coco Gauff fans ‘fake’

Maria Sharapova cited the 19-year-old tennis prodigy Coco Gauff as an example for her claim that many tennis fans have no knowledge regarding the game. She claimed that despite the stadium being packed with spectators cheering on her historic victory, they were unaware that she would soon be competing in Beijing for the China Open.

Maria Sharapova (Credits: Bloomberg.com)

Even if the teenager made it to the China Open semifinals, according to the 36-year-old former tennis player, 99% of the audience would not be aware of it.

She got to the semifinals and lost, but I’m sure 99 percent of the audience at the US Open had no idea where she was playing next. Right away, that’s off the bat; that’s a problem,” she remarked. The five-time Grand Slam champion tennis player attributed this to marketing and tennis community participation. She said that tennis needs to spend more money on marketing if it wants to expand as a business.

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