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A public opinion poll commissioned by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour reveals that 80 per cent of the British public support equal prize money at Wimbledon. Ana favours financial parity for women, though she is perhaps not as passionate as some of her peers.
“This isn’t something I feel very strongly about,” said Ana. “I don’t really want to complain because we get paid well and I am very grateful for this.
“Equal prize money is good for us, of course. This year they’ve increased all the women’s prize money [on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour] by three per cent, I think. Probably they should try to even it, but I can understand that the men’s tournaments are really tough. They play five sets.
“But still, for the women even three sets is pretty hard, so I think they should probably increase the women’s so that it is equal.”
A similar poll before Roland Garros indicated that 90 per cent of the French public support equal prize money and that a majority believe that women’s tennis is more entertaining than men’s.
Additionally, a separate survey by YouGov indicates that over two thirds of the British public feel that awarding female competitors equal prize money at Wimbledon would send out a more positive signal to women and girls throughout the country.
Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in Britain, this week sent a letter to Tim Phillips, Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, stating: “It is anomalous that women receive less prize money than the men and this fact is tarnishing the image of the championships.”
The All England Club defended its position last month, pointing out that women are able to earn more than men in total when doubles participation is taken into account.
Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Tatiana Golovin are among the most partisan backers of equal prize money.
"Wimbledon needs to do the right thing and finally pay the women the same as the men," said Williams.
Meanwhile, Ana will debut a new adidas dress for her first round match on Tuesday.
By Gavin Versi