Serena Williams has been a trendsetter nearly her whole life, on and off the tennis court. From the world of fashion to music and civil rights, the younger of the Williams sisters has never been afraid to speak her mind.
On Thursday, following another win to reach the Wimbledon final, Williams was asked about the equal pay movement within women’s tennis and she didn’t hold bad in her beliefs at all.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2016
First off, after a quick 6-2, 6-0 victory over Elena Vesnina in her semifinal, there was talk about Serena’s place as an all-time great women’s athlete. She has a different take on that.
“I prefer the word ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time,'” Serena said, via Sports Illustrated.
Beyond that, the talk all week at Wimbledon has turned to the payments made to women in the sport of tennis.
Serena is one that believes winners on either side of the game should be given equal pay for their championship accomplishments.
“Well, I would like to see people, the public, the press, other athletes in general, just realize and respect women for who they are and what we are and we do,” Williams said. “I don’t think I would deserve to be paid less because of my sex, or anyone else for that matter in any job,” she added.
Some argue that the women’s game is shorter, with the ladies playing a best-of-three set format to the men’s best-of-five sets format. That fact doesn’t matter to Williams, who put it back on the writer asking the question of her.
Q. Can I touch on the subject of equal prize money. Your match today was very quick compared to, say, the five‑setters yesterday of the men. There’s some talk on social media again about equal prize money. Do the women deserve equal prize money. I wonder what your thoughts were.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we deserve equal prize money. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you happen to write a short article, you think you don’t deserve equal pay as your beautiful colleague behind you?
She expanded on the perception towards women’s tennis as a whole when given the opportunity.
— Laura Winter (@lauracwinter) July 7, 2016
Williams will be playing in her ninth final at Wimbledon, taking on upstart Angelique Kerber of Germany on Saturday. Should she win, it would be a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title and a measure of revenge over Kerber, who beat her for the Australian Open title earlier this year.