Tennis can champion equal pay across all sports, says Gauff


World No. 3 Coco Gauff believes tennis can 'be the leader' in promoting equal pay across all sports – with the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships among the WTA competitions to have implemented the equality-centric policy.

In 2005, the Dubai tournament introduced an equal prize money policy, becoming the first non-Grand Slam and third professional tennis event to follow suit after the US and Australian Opens blazed the gender pay parity trail.

Last summer, the WTA also approved a plan to achieve equal pay across the tennis calendar by 2033. As part of the proposal, all tournaments at the 500 and 1000 level that feature both men and women will pay players equally by 2027.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday ahead of her fourth appearance in Dubai, the 2023 US Open champion openly discussed the gender pay gap.

"For me, I think the biggest thing is that in most sports in the world, people watch the men’s game more than the women’s. I think we continue to bring fans. The problem is also that we have to market women’s sports better, market ourselves better.

"(Over) the past couple years, I feel like the marketing for women’s sports has been invested more in, and therefore there’s been more watch-ability for people. If we continue to invest in women’s sports, then it will profit almost the same as the men, and garner equal pay."

Meanwhile, the 19-year-old tennis sensation admitted she has altered her mindset to be more positive amid adversity after previously dwelling on defeats too much in the past.

"I lost in Doha, but the next day I did a desert excursion, which is something that I would never have done in the past because when I lose, I usually dwell on it too long," Gauff explained.

"I think that can be mentally tolling. You do lose a lot. You lose more than you win, especially in tennis."

"For me, I’ve been just trying to enjoy the other aspects in life, other than that. Just listening to your body, listening to your mind. If you feel like you need to miss a tournament, miss it. For me, I’ll always try to play as much as I can while being healthy."

Gauff will face Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the thrid round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

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