Monday, March 19, 2007

The other shoe drops...

...but in a good way.

Somehow I missed this news at the end of last week: the French Open--or Roland Garros as it is officially known--has decided to award equal prize money in all rounds this year.

Perhaps this did not make as much news because most people already thought Roland Garros awarded equal prize money. When Wimbledon made its announcement earlier this year about equal prize money most of the media outlets, blogs, etc. reported that it was the last Grand Slam to do so. But at RG equal prize money was only awarded to the winners of the event.

The French Federation said equal prize money across the board was the intent when it started with equal winners' checks last year. But I have to think that this two-step process perhaps was meant to be more of a multi-step plan making prize money equal gradually starting with the winners and then working down the draw. But the decision by the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club probably effected a change of plans across the Channel.

But that's just my cynical, conspiracy-theorist take on the situation. Regardless of how it came about, the four major tournaments in professional tennis now award equal prize money. And it only took 30+ years since Billie Jean King first suggested it.

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