The WTA has been forced to explain why there was a difference in winners’ pay checks between the men and the women at the Rome Masters this week.
Winners Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic each collected similar amounts (around $240,000), but according to sources Djokovic actually received more.
“This comes down to a simple rounding situation, that´s all,” WTA spokeswoman Amy Binder explained in an email to Associated Press after the figures were questioned.
The ATP and WTA control prize money – not the event organiser – and this year, because of the pandemic, and the lack of spectators, revenue was greatly reduced.
The ATP cut prize money for the men by 40 per cent and the WTA reduced their winnings by 32 per cent.
Hence why Djokovic received slightly more.
12 months ago the difference was much greater. The Italian Open is a top-tier Masters 1000 event for men, so Rafael Nadal earned about $1.1 million.
For the women it is only a second-tier Premier Five event. 2019 champion Karolina Pliskova received $615,000.
“All we do is organise the tournament,” tournament director Sergio Palmieri told AP.
“The ATP decides how much to award their players and the WTA decides how much to award their players. And we pay. The only thing we do is pay.”