‘Sexism’ storm erupts in ‘ridiculous’ tennis farce

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Daniil Medvedev (pictured left) celebrating at the Cincinnati Open and Naomi Osaka (pictured right) looking defeated.
The Cincinnati Open, featuring players such as Daniil Medvedev (pictured left) and Naomi Osaka (pictured right), has been called out over the large disparity in prize money for the men and women's game. (Getty Images)

The Southern & Western Open kicked-off this week with some of the world's biggest names taking part, but the gap in the prize money for the men and women has sparked outrage in Cincinnati.

World No.1 Ash Barty and World No.2 Naomi Osaka have both taken part in the Cincinnati Open, while the highest profile names in the men's game, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, have all elected to skip the tournament due to injury.

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However, a number of top men's players are taking part, including World No.2 Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

But, following the global pandemic that wreaked havoc in the tennis schedule, players and viewers are calling out the Cincinnati Open for its huge disparity in prize money.

The total prize money for this year's tournament is around $AUD 6.7 million, which is an increase of 14.75 per cent from last year.

The champion will take home around $910,000, which is up 127 per cent from what reigning champion Djokovic took home last year.

However, the women's total prize money has taken a hit.

The total prize money is $2.9 million, down more than 6 per cent from 2020.

The winner will take home more than $350,000, which is a 10 per cent drop from last year.

Players and fans react to huge tennis pay gap

All four Grand Slams have the same prize money for men and women, but ATP and WTA Tour events vary.

Last week, player Daria Kasatkina pointed out the women's game did not benefit from a rise in prize money at the Cincinnati Open and put a spotlight on the issue.

Following Kasatkina, leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg called out the clear-cut pay divide at the Masters 1000 event.

The tennis community labelled the huge gap 'sexist', as users hit out on social media.

The debate over prize money has been a huge talking point for decades.

Tennis icon and equal rights activist Billie Jean King made waves around the world in 1973 after the famous 'Battle of the Sexes' match, when she defeated former World No.1 player Bobby Riggs to highlights the issue.

King changed the public perception on how women's tennis was viewed.

But the issue has remained an issue on tour.

In 2015, at the same Southern & Western event, Serena Williams won a little less than $700,000 for winning the title.

But, Federer won more than $1,000,000 for winning the men's event.

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