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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Wimbledon isolated on equal pay
Rafael Nadal celebrates victory in the 2005 French Open
Rafael Nadal won the men's title in Paris last year
Wimbledon is the only one of the Grand Slams not to offer equal prize money to the men's and women's champions after the French Open changed its policy.

French Open organisers have decided to offer equal prize money to the champions for the first time this year.

However, other women players there will get less than their male counterparts, prompting criticism from the WTA Tour.

Wimbledon, which has always defended its controversial policy, will unveil its 2006 prize money later this month.

The singles champions at Roland Garros will each earn 940,000 euros (655,000).

But the men's singles runner-up will receive 470,000 euros (328,000) compared to the 463,000 euros (323,000) on offer for the losing women's finalist.

WTA chief executive Larry Scott said the women's Tour was "encouraged" by the decision to give the women's champion the same prize money as the men's winner.

But he added: "This move should not be allowed to distract from the fact that, in the 21st century it is simply indefensible that 127 women's singles competitors and an equal number of women's doubles players in a Grand Slam tournament should be receiving considerably less prize money than their male counterparts.

"Quite apart from the moral case for parity, the remarkable quality and depth of play demonstrated by professional women tennis players, combined with the global popularity and media and sponsor interest in our players, merits equal prize money at all the Grand Slams."




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