Former Russian tennis player, Maria Sharapova retired from professional tennis in 2020. Despite her retirement, she has often grabbed headlines due to her off-court activities, including various businesses. Recently, she appeared at the New York Fashion Week, where she talked about Venus and Serena Williams’ constant battle to reduce the gender pay gap.
Notably, during their professional tennis career, both Sharapova and Serena met each other on the tennis court numerous times. During their rivalry, they did not often see eye to eye. However, the Russian praised both Venus and Serena, as they fought for equal pay.
During an interview at the New York Fashion Week, Sharapova said, “I’ve seen it from the sidelines being a woman in a sport that didn’t have equal pay, that didn’t have equal rights… I witnessed Venus Williams fighting for equal prize money at every single one of her press conferences, every single one. You know how challenging but brave of her to show up and do that is?“
In the interview, Sharapova also promised to grow her business and fight for women in business. Notably, in 2007, Venus Williams won the Wimbledon title and fought for equal prize money. Her stubborn attitude forced the Wimbledon organizers to give her equal prize money. Safe to say, it was a historic moment in women’s tennis, as Venus became the first woman to collect equal prize money from the Wimbledon Championships.
In terms of their on-court earnings, Serena Williams earned the most, as she nearly bagged $95 million only from her on-court earnings. As for Venus, she earned more than $42 million in her entire career, which is still going. Meanwhile, the Russian Sharapova earned around $39 million from tennis alone.