News & Notes

Finally, Equal Pay for All at French Open

England bowler Monty Panesar, right, reacts in frustration during a World Cup cricket match in St Lucia. New Zealand won by 6 wickets with 54 balls remaining.
England bowler Monty Panesar, right, reacts in frustration during a World Cup cricket match in St Lucia. New Zealand won by 6 wickets with 54 balls remaining. (By Matt Dunham -- Associated Press)

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

The French Open will award equal prize money to male and female players throughout the tournament, falling in line with the three other Grand Slam tournaments.

The announcement yesterday by the French Tennis Federation extends last year's decision. The French Open paid the men's and women's singles champions the same for the first time, although the overall prize fund remained larger for men.

"In 2007, the parity will be total," federation president Christian Bimes said.

Equalizing the pay will increase the total purse to $20.34 million -- a 7.2 percent increase from last year and a record at the French Open, which runs May 27-June 10.

Men's and women's singles winners will each receive $1.33 million, also a French record. Wimbledon organizers announced they would award equal pay last month. The U.S. Open and Australian Open have paid equal prize money for years.

"The decision by Roland Garros today closes one chapter in the history of tennis and opens an exciting new one that will positively impact opportunities for women and girls in sport and society," said Larry Scott, WTA Tour chief executive.

"We salute the French Tennis Federation for taking this decisive and final step to equality," said Billie Jean King, a leading advocate for pay equity. . . .

Daniela Hantuchova defeated Li Na, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, to move into the women's title match at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

No. 18 Hantuchova will play No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova today for the championship. Kuznetsova beat Sybille Bammer, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 6-1.

Novak Djokovic advanced to the men's semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over David Ferrer.

ยท ALPINE SKIING: In Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Austria demonstrated its dominance and depth by winning its third straight Nations Team competition without its top skiers.


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