18 Years After Convincing Wimbledon to Opt For a Massive Change, Venus Williams Makes the Most of US Open Platform to Recall a Fascinating Story

Published 09/08/2023, 4:20 PM EDT

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The prestigious Wimbledon Championships has seen several notable moments in its revered grass courts. 18 years ago, an American tennis ace contributed to one of the most remarkable off-court contributions to tennis. Venus Williams, the five-time Grand Slam champion, assumed a critical part in the fight for equal prize money for WTA players. She had successfully fought to ensure that female athletes got the same acknowledgment as their male counterparts. In her recent US Open interview, Williams shared a poignant moment that remains etched in her memory.

In 2005, just before her triumph in the Wimbledon final, Venus Williams delivered a stirring speech to the Grand Slam Committee. It denoted the start of a two-year battle for equal prize money.

Venus Williams continues to champion equality on and off the court


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In a recent interview at the US Open, Venus Williams dove into her spearheading job and reminisced about her stance for equal prize money at Wimbledon. The American star shared her contemplations on the continuous battle for gender equality in sports and society. Williams indefatigably battled for the equivalent cash prize at Wimbledon. It eventually prompted the memorable 2007 announcement where she became the first women’s tennis champion to receive it.

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Considering her critical job, Venus depicted a formal meeting in 2005 with Wimbledon authorities. In the event, she had strongly requested equal prize money, despite the English formality.


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At the gathering, Williams had requested that everybody shut their eyes. She wanted the attendees to consider if they’d want their loved ones paid less. Williams recalled, “You know how the English are more buttoned up than us loud Americans. There are a lot of formalities. We ask for equal prize money.”

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The American also added,”..Then I left. I bounced (smiling). I had to go and didn’t stay for the whole meeting. Lots of people think that was impactful. It was just the truth. A lot of the time you can’t beat the truth.”

Her words had profoundly influenced the listeners. Her advocacy wasn’t simply a speech; it was a strong message driven by her mother’s influence. The doting yet strict mother had taught her to stand up against injustice.


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Williams had once discussed her role in advocating for equal prize money in a 2008 interview. Despite her pivotal contribution to the cause, she humbly downplayed her role and credited other pioneers for igniting the fight for gender pay parity.

Williams once reflected on equal prize money and her role in the fight for gender equality

In the 2022 interview with CNN, Williams expressed her remarkable perspective. The tennis star had shared that she gets too much credit for the equal prize money decision. Williams had acknowledged the significant influence of players like Billie Jean King in championing equal pay.


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The formation of the Women’s Tennis Association in the seventies was a monumental moment in not just tennis, but in the entire sports realm, and Billie Jean King played a pivotal role. After struggling for several decades, their efforts bore fruit when Wimbledon announced in February 2007 that all competitors, regardless of gender, would receive the same prize money. The important decision marked a significant victory for gender equality in sports.

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Written by:

Dr Aditya Raveendran Menon


One take at a time

Aditya Menon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports, covering several high-profile tournaments and events. With a passion for writing that matches his love for the sport, he has a special interest in covering the activities of tennis legends like Serena Williams and the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis. Aditya’s interest in tennis started at a young age when his father introduced him to the sport.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas