Em 2007, a luta contra todas as formas de discriminação de género parece ter marcado um ponto nos courts de Wimbledon. Há dias foi anunciado que no torneio deste ano, e pela primeira vez na história da competição, os prémios vão ser iguais para homens e mulheres.
Numa conferência de imprensa (que pode ser vista aqui), o director do All England Club, Tim Phillips - que no ano passado tinha afirmado que a igualdade de prémios “seria uma injustiça para os homens” - declarou que esta decisão, tomada por unanimidade pelos dirigentes do All England Club seria "good for tennis, good for women players and good for Wimbledon".
Como noticia a BBC Sport, Phillips anunciou que "the time is right to bring this subject to a logical conclusion and eliminate the difference. We believe our decision to offer equal prize money provides a boost for the game as a whole and recognises the enormous contribution that women players make to the game and to Wimbledon. We hope it will also encourage girls who want a career in sport to choose tennis as their best option."
Ainda segundo a notícia da BBC Sport, "Wimbledon joins the United States and Australia in paying equal money across the board, from the champions down to the first-round losers in all events. The French Open offers the same cheque only to the champions. (...)
Triple Wimbledon champion Venus Williams expressed her delight at the news, saying: «The greatest tennis tournament in the world has reached an even greater height today. I applaud today's decision by Wimbledon, which recognises the value of women's tennis. The 2007 Championships will have even greater meaning and significance to me and my fellow players.» (...)
Three-time men's Wimbledon champion John McEnroe also backed the decision. «I think when you've got men and women playing at the same tournament, it is ludicrous to have a difference in pay», he told the Daily Telegraph. «It would be setting an example to the rest of society in general to have equal prize money.» (...)
Peter Fleming, with whom McEnroe won four Wimbledon doubles titles and three US Opens, told BBC Five Live: «The difference last year was so small - it was a symbolic gesture for the last couple of years - but finally the club have realised it's not worth the effort to maintain it.» Fleming said he hoped that any male players angry at the decision would see the light. «They'll grow up at some point», he said. (...)
Reigning Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo said: «It's great that they did it and now the French Open is going to struggle staying back».