On the anniversary of equal prize money at the US Open, the USTA will be the central theme of the 2023 US Open with events and a significant social media presence regarding it confirmed.
The nine-month celebration beginning on National Equal Pay Day today and will continue for the duration of the year.
Fifty years ago, in 1973, the US Open became the first sporting event in history to offer equal prize money to both men and women competitors, with each competing for total purses of $100,000, including a $25,000 payout to both the men’s and women’s singles champion.
The great Billie Jean King became the pioneer for equal prize money when she won the women’s singles title at the 1972 US Open and demanded that the following year’s US Open pay men’s and women’s players equally.
This began the formation of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). After the 1973 US Open milestone of equal pay, King then defeated Bobby Riggs in the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ match, this helped to propel the women’s movement in both sports and in society, and still remains the most-watched tennis match ever.
“The USTA is incredibly proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of awarding equal prize money at this year’s US Open, and to honor Billie Jean King’s efforts to make this a reality,” said Brian Hainline, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “No individual has done more to secure equality for female athletes than Billie Jean King. Her impact goes far beyond the tennis court, and there is no better time to celebrate her legacy than on the anniversary of this historic milestone.”
“It’s not just about the money, it’s about the message,” said Billie Jean King. “Every generation does have to fight for equality and freedom.”