22 February 2006 The All England Club today announced that it will be offering equal prize money across the board to both men and women players with effect from and including the 2007 Championships.
Announcing the decision, Tim Phillips, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “Tennis is one of the few sports in which women and men compete in the same event at the same time. We believe our decision to offer equal prize money provides a boost for the game as a whole and recognises the enormous contribution that women players make to the game and to Wimbledon. We hope it will also encourage girls who want a career in sport to choose tennis as their best option. In short, good for tennis, good for women players and good for Wimbledon.”
Phillips continued: “When Wimbledon pioneered Open Tennis in 1968, the Men’s Singles Champion, Rod Laver, won £2,000, while Billie Jean King, the Ladies’ Singles Champion, won £750, only 37.5% of the men’s prize.
“Over the years, we have progressively increased the ladies’ prize money, so that last year Amélie Mauresmo, the Ladies’ Champion, received £625,000 – 95% of the money received by Roger Federer, the Men’s Champion.
“As in every other year, the Committee has again analysed all the relevant information and then made a judgement. This year, taking into account both the overall progression and the fact that broader social factors are also relevant to the decision, they have decided that the time is right to bring this subject to a logical conclusion and eliminate the difference. We believe this positive step will be widely welcomed.”
Prize money levels for the 2007 Championships have yet to be decided and will be announced in late April.