Serena: Women played role in prize money increases

by: Matt Cronin March 21, 2013

AP Photo

Serena Williams praises the U.S. Open’s substantial prize money increase. The USTA announced that it will double its prize money from $25 million in 2012 to $50 million in 2017.

Williams, who is a member of the WTA Player Council, says it just wasn't ATP Player Council leader Roger Federer and company involved in negotiations. However, WTA officials have acknowledged that the ATP did take the lead role in negotiating with the U.S. Open, and it was Federer who was on a conference call with tournament officials when a deal was struck in Miami earlier this week.

“It wasn't only the men's side, for the record," Serena told reporters. “They definitely led the challenge. I'm on the player council with the ladies, so [the top eight players] met with all the Grand Slams [at the year-end championships in Istanbul]. We sat down with all the top players and every Grand Slam chairman came in, and we told them, ‘Look, we need to change.’ We just want to be at a different point and not necessarily earn more money, but just do better for the sport. Show people a reason to play tennis. Get more people involved. What can we do to make that better? 

"So we were in those meetings and all biting our nails, both the players and the Grand Slam chairmen. Sometimes it gets a little testy, especially with some. But I think it was worth it. We still want to climb and we still want to make improvements, obviously not for me or for my generation, but for the next generations to come to say that tennis is such a great sport and you can do well in it.”

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