Tennis - Former WTA stars are working towards ensuring a better pension is in place for retired players. Currently, the article reports that the WTA has agreed to contribute $1.25 million over five years to create a Legacy Fund and over 240 players will receive a one-time payment of $5,000 with the first group of players being paid in October this year.
Now the players are asking for the Grand Slams to match the contribution of the WTA to the Legacy Fund, although the Grand Slams are not so inclined at the moment to do so, and are also considering asking former sponsors such as Virginia Slims and Colgate to contribute hopefully.
Currently, all players are paid equally although some players did want a differential model for players. Barbara Jordan, one of the players behind the movement, commented, "Steve put in more money than we expected. It’s a lot of money that’s just divided up among a lot of people”.
Paula Smith, a tour pro from 1976 to 1988 and winner of 13 doubles titles, said, "I hoped for a lot more but we’re lucky they did it at all”. Lesley Hunt, who retired in 1979, commented, “A pension could have been life-changing for me.
$25,000 would give me a couple more years in my own home, getting out of my wheelchair and on my feet so I’m finally able to work in my tennis teaching job full time again." . Pam Teeguarden, a winner in Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles, said, "They benefited so much from having us playing in those days.
We built their future”. Martina Navratilova, a winner of 59 Grand Slam titles and one of the biggest advocates of women's tennis, said, "Validation is always nice, but especially when it goes beyond a plaque or proclamation and you get a check in the mail.
We promoted the heck out of the tour, even at the majors — we were always accessible and never worried if this was good for me or my brand because we needed to sell tickets."