Jessica Pegula Discusses Gender Pay Disparities in Tennis Beyond Grand Slams

Jessica Pegula, current world number 5, talks about the notable difference in prize money between men and women beyond the four Grand Slams. The American is hopeful that the situation will improve next year with the changes the WTA has made.

– Did you expect four years ago to be where you are now?

“Probably not, but I always believed I would make it. At the same time, looking back, after all the work, with the mindset I had, I don’t know if I really believed it. It’s been a long road. Everything changed when I had a great Australian Open three or four years ago. Going this far in a Grand Slam is something I have never achieved before. Since then, I have been able to go far in every tournament I have played. At that moment I realized that I could play at the highest level,” Jessica confesses to Forbes.

“I have had much more success than I expected in the Grand Slams. Before I was trying to get past the first round, now the goal is to get to the semi-finals or win one. I came pretty close this year at Wimbledon, but lost to the reigning champion. I know I’m there. In women’s tennis, there is so much depth that anyone can break through at any time. That gives me confidence that I can achieve it.”

– How does your life change?

“I have more commitments and responsibilities, especially in the bigger tournaments. For example, at the US Open, where there is more attention paid to American players. I am among the top five seeds in the Grand Slams, something I have become somewhat accustomed to in recent years, although it is difficult to find the balance. Now it takes you much more time, much more energy, but I take it as part of my job to grow the sport. I have shown in recent years that I continue to improve every season. There are always challenges, you can always improve in tennis. It is something I have been doing, so it is time to continue in the future.”

– Serena Williams retirement and opportunities

“There are opportunities for everyone. We saw how Coco Gauff took advantage of that at the US Open showing that she could be a Grand Slam champion. That’s something that also motivates me. With Serena gone, it seems like everything is more open. Even when she wasn’t playing the full circuit, she was the favorite. Now it seems like different times, although we have already seen who the best are. No one can replace Serena. Having several Americans helps. Only Coco has a lot of pressure to be seen as the next Serena or Venus.”

– Parents who own the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabers

“Anyone who knows what sports is like, whether they are an athlete, or highly competitive, knows that you don’t get there if you don’t work hard or have talent. It’s very complicated. It’s not something that worries me too much. I’ve worked really hard, I wouldn’t have gotten here if it hadn’t been like that.”

– Difference in prizes between men and women

“Women’s tennis is a great sport, one of the best paid for women, but, at the same time, the salary difference is very large. We always talk about equality in the Grand Slams, but those are four tournaments a year. It’s not equal in many of the other tournaments. Our season is long, 10/11 months and there is a big difference that we continue to work on. I think we have to improve our marketing, something that will improve with the WTA having a private company that will take care of the commercial side.

Then we will begin to have better agreements with television stations. We are trying to start the path with the same economic prizes with some changes in the structure of the circuit. Hopefully we will see the results in the coming years.”

2023-11-29 11:30:00
#salary #difference #large

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