Tennis: Fans fume online as Italian Open title winners Djokovic and Halep split by €10 in prize money

Novak Djokovic (left) received €205,200 for his triumph, while Simona Halep (right) won €10 less.
Novak Djokovic (left) received €205,200 for his triumph, while Simona Halep (right) won €10 less.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, REUTERS

ROME (REUTERS) - Organisers of the Italian Open and the professional tennis Tours came under fire on social media after it emerged that Rome men's champion Novak Djokovic was paid €10 (S$16) more than women's winner Simona Halep.

Djokovic, who beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown, received €205,200 for his triumph while Halep won €10 less for sealing the WTA Premier 5 title after Karolina Pliskova retired from the final with injury while trailing 6-0, 2-1.

But even as tennis' biggest events - the Grand Slams - have pushed for parity in prize money for winners, some fans online vented their ire that while Halep's prize came close to that of Djokovic, it frustratingly fell short.

The issue generated plenty of discussion on social media, with some individuals pointing out the "pathetic" difference.

"People who made a pay gap in cents are misogynists. Period," one individual said on Twitter.

"I almost feel like - if they so badly need those €10 to feel better about their manhood - hell's bells give it to 'em," another said.

Organisers of the tournament as well as the men's ATP Tour and women's WTA Tour did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last year, Rafael Nadal took home €958,055 as the men's winner in Rome, almost double the prize money given to women's winner Pliskova.

The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had reduced the overall prize pot of the men's event to around €3.47 million while the women's fund was around €1.69 million.


ATP Masters 1000 events are the biggest on the men's Tour after the Grand Slams and the season-ending ATP Finals, while Premier 5 events are lower than Premier Mandatory tournaments and the WTA Finals.