WIMBLEDON, England, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Men and women will, for the first time, compete for equal prize money at the Wimbledon's 2007 tennis tournament.
The exact amounts of the 2007 tournament purses won't be announced until April but the decision to make the prize amounts equal changes a pay scale that saw Billy Jean King's 1968 women's Wimbledon championship worth 37.5 percent of the amount won by that year's men's titlist, Rod Laver.
The gap closed in recent years, with 2006 women's winner Amelie Mauresmo collecting 95 percent as much as men's champion Roger Federer.
"We believe our decision to offer equal prize money provides a boost for the game as a whole and recognizes the enormous contribution that women players make to the game and to Wimbledon," All England Club Chairman Tim Phillips said Thursday.
"We hope it will also encourage girls who want a career in sport to choose tennis as their best option. In short, good for tennis, good for women players and good for Wimbledon."
The 2007 Wimbledon tournament is scheduled for June 25-July 8.