Venus Williams

venus vs

In 1968, Billie Jean King won the women’s singles championship at Wimbledon, but she only received £750 in prize money while the men’s singles champion won £2,000. From this moment on, King began advocating for all players to earn equal prize money at all the Grand Slam events, regardless of gender. Three out of these four major tournaments (the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open) agreed to this change, but Wimbledon continued to hold out, only slightly increasing the prize total for female players over the years but never making it equal to what the men were awarded. Then in 1994, a young player from South Central Los Angeles went pro and changed the sport forever. Gone were the days of women’s tennis being mainly a serve and volley game. At 6’3″, Venus Williams ushered in a new generation of female power players who competed with an intensity and drive equal to the males. This shift began to electrify the women’s game, making it just as popular as the men’s (if not more so in some years), and negated the theory that female players drew in less viewers and had fewer fans than their male counterparts, an idea some had used to justify the difference in pay.

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