While the gender pay gap in America has started to decline, pay gaps in men’s and women’s sports aren’t uncommon.
Earlier this week, we compared the career earnings for the highest-paid men’s and women’s tennis players of all time.
With tennis prize money rapidly rising, we’ll review the pay gap between the top 100 men’s and women’s tennis players in career earnings to see if females are being underpaid.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the data.
41% of the Top-150 Players in All-Time Tennis Earnings Are Women
According to research from the experts at The Sports Daily, 41.33 percent of the top-150 tennis players in career earnings are women.
That number rises even higher as we move further up the tennis prize money list.
Among the top 40 tennis players in career earnings, 19 are female (48 percent) and that doesn’t include active women’s tennis star Naomi Osaka, who just missed the cut at number 41.
Serena Williams is the highest-earning women’s tennis player ever at $94.5M while her sister, Venus Williams, is next on the list at just over $42M.
Comparing Top-100 Men’s ATP and Women’s WTA Tennis Earnings
The top 100 women’s tennis players have earned a healthy $1,473,179,684 in career WTA earnings.
On the other hand, the top 100 men’s tennis players have totaled $1,978,773,575 in career ATP earnings.
Overall, this means that the top 100 women’s tennis players are getting paid approximately 34 percent less than the top 100 men on the ATP tour.
Are Women’s Tennis Players Underpaid?
While that might seem like a fairly large divide, the numbers may actually be closer than they appear.
In fact, women have earned approximately 42.68 percent of the total tennis prize money awarded among the top 100 players on the ATP and WTA tours.
While it’s not quite an even split, the discrepancy mostly comes from the top-three spots. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have dominated men’s tennis over the last 20 years, which is also reflected in their career earnings.
Combined, the top-three men’s tennis players have earned a whopping $420,928,723.
To put that into perspective, the next 10 highest-paid men’s tennis players on the list have earned a combined $351,247,872, which is still 19.8% less than Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer’s combined total.
Even when taking Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer out of the equation, the next 97 men on the list have still earned 5.7 percent more than the top 100 female players.
That number jumps even higher to nearly 13 percent if we level the playing field by removing Serena, the top-earning female tennis player.