Organisers of the Italian Open and the tennis Tours came under fire on social media after it emerged that Rome men's champion Novak Djokovic was paid €10 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.
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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 euros 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, Rafa 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 €1.69m euros.
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.
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