As Mr and Mrs Inventory watched he women's singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday night, we heard the commentators informing their audience that the winners of the men's and women's event would be paid the same prize money.
Both of us found this a little strange, especially Mrs I who has, in a number of ways, been an advocate for women and for equality. Why should the women be paid the same when they essentially work less?
All the men's matches at the Grand Slam tournaments are best of five sets, while the women play best of three sets. To win the Australian Open Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams each played seven matches. The commentators helpfully informed us that Williams spent around 10 hours on-court during the tournament, including a final lasting 59 minutes. Nadal spent almost 10 hours on-court in just the semi-final (5hr 13min) and the final (4hr 22min) alone. Effectively, he played his other five matches for no pay - is that fair?
There's an obvious solution - make all matches the best of five sets. Therein lies a problem though. The lack of depth in women's tennis is such that it would be even more brutally exposed by a series of one-sided straight-setters. To us, the riches should be earned, and prize money should be proportionate to effort - not politically correct.