ATP and WTA Revenue Reveals Huge Differences Between Player Earnings

ATP and WTA Revenue Reveals Huge Differences Between Player Earnings

by Alex Waite

Last updated

As the debate around prize fund gaps between ATP & WTA events continues into 2023, official figures suggest the inequality in numbers is set to continue.

For the 2021 season, as reported by ProPublica, the ATP took a record $176.8 million in revenue, while the WTA only saw an income of $87.8 million. In addition, the men's income has continued to rise steadily since 2012, but revenue on the WTA tour has declined steeply after reaching a record level of $109.7 million in 2019.

The impact of Covid-19 can be considered as a factor in the decline of annual income for the WTA in recent years. However, question marks remain over the huge difference in revenue when compared to the record-high sums achieved by the ATP from sponsorship, licencing fees and income from event finals.

A closer examination of the prize money differences between ATP and WTA events at different levels also highlights the vast gap in earnings between male and female players despite the revenues not differing as much as the prize money totals.

For instance, the prize money at the majority of ATP 250 events is around $642,735, which is nearly three times the number for the parallel WTA competition where the prize money usually totals $259,303.

Even more stark are the financial figures for higher-points competitions. In particular, the men's prize fund at the 2023 Dubai Championships, an ATP 500 event, was nearly $3 million, whereas the women's pay from the WTA 500 Charleston Open was just $780,637.

The same theme was noticeable in 2022 and the Financial Times revealed that men's players were roughly earning 75% more compared to female players, excluding the Grand Slams, which pay equal prize money. Moreover, the 2022 prize money was particularly significant because it highlighted the biggest between male and female prize money since 2001.

Although the tennis majors have led the way for equality in prize money in recent years, it remains to be seen whether the other ATP and WTA tour events will catch up anytime soon. If the current trend continues, the growing gap between male and female prize money will become wider before any parity is achieved.


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