The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has warmly welcomed a cash boost from a sports bra manufacturer that will mean the women's Wimbledon champion receives the same prize money as the men's champion this year.
The company, Shock Absorber, said it would plug the 40,000 pounds ($66,750) gap
between the men's 575,000 cheque and the 535,000 offered to the winner of the women's singles.
"The WTA Tour is pleased that Shock Absorber is investing in women's tennis," said WTA chief executive Larry Scott.
"Clearly they understand and appreciate the value and marketing power of the women's game. Equal prize has been a priority of the WTA Tour for several years."
Shock Absorber's initiative is supported by American tennis great Billie Jean King, a long-time campaigner for equal prize money.
Critics say men should be paid more as their matches are best-of-five sets, not best-of-three like the women's.
But American former tennis player Pam Shriver, another vocal advocate of equal pay, said earlier this week: "Andre Agassi this year won in Melbourne in fewer games than Serena Williams. Does that mean Serena should get more than him on the day? No.
"Last year's Wimbledon final was over after four games between Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian. You had someone in the final that most of the world hasn't heard of. So does Nalbandian get less? No."