Aryna Sabalenka, who lost the 2023 US Open final to Coco Gauff, was asked at a press conference about the salaries women receive compared to men in tennis.
It is never easy for someone to talk about such an important and wide-reaching topic so soon after suffering a very emotional defeat in front of so many, but Sabalenka certainly did not duck the question.
“We work very hard. It’s not like we’re not doing anything and we get paid the same. I think we deserve to be paid the same,” she said.
“The only thing I’m going to say about this is … women deserve to be paid the same as men. Because we sacrifice a lot. We work very hard. It’s not like we’re not doing anything and we get paid the same. I think we deserve to be paid the same. The level is probably different: men are stronger, but we are still working hard. I think we deserve to be paid the same. That’s all I’m going to say about that,” she told the media.
Gauff’s first Grand Slam
Coco Gauff is just 19 years old and she beat Sabalenka 2-6 6-3 6-2, becoming the first American teenager to triumph at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams did it in 1999.
Speaking after the match, Gauff said: “It means so much to me, I feel like I’m a little bit in shock. My French Open [final] loss was a heart-breaker for me, but God puts you through trials and tribulations and that makes this even sweeter.
“I just knew if I didn’t give it my all I had no shot at winning. Aryna is an incredible player and deserves to be number one.
“Today was the first time I ever saw my dad cry. He thinks he’s so hard but…he took me to this tournament when I was young to watch Serena and Venus (Williams) compete, so it’s incredible to be on this stage.”