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ATP Applauds Wimbledon Move On Equal Pay

The governing body of men's tennis applauded Wimbledon's decision to award equal prize money to men and women.

"It's a good move for Wimbledon and for tennis overall," ATP president and executive chairman Etienne de Villiers said in a statement Friday.

The All England Club agreed Thursday to provide equal pay from the first round through the final at the June 25-July 8 grass-court championships.The U.S. Open and Australian Open have paid equal money for years. The French Open awards equal money to the winners, but not throughout the tournament.

"We need to continue to reward and promote our players _ the stars of the game _ as we move toward our collective mission of making our sport even greater than before," de Villiers said.

Not all the male players approve.

"I don't think it's really fair," ninth-ranked Tommy Haas said Thursday at the ATP tournament in Memphis, Tenn. "I think the depth of men's tennis is much tougher than the women's, plus we play best of five sets."

Haas acknowledged the growth of women's tennis.

"Not to say that the women don't deserve it," the German said. "The top players train very hard and are very good tennis players, but in general I don't agree with it."

Britain's Andy Murray defended the decision, saying men still get paid more in smaller tournaments and have more sponsorships.