New York, NY —
Four of the best players in women's tennis right now were at Madison Square Garden Monday night -- the first time women's tennis has been played at the Garden in nine years. The BNP Paribas Showdown featured Venus and Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, and Ana Ivanovic. They were competing for the Billie Jean King Cup, and for $1.2 million. A far cry from the prize money available to Billie Jean, and others who played in the 1970s, when the Womens Tennis Association was born.
While the WTA has helped women get the same amount of prize money as men in the Grand Slams, it hasn't done so well when it comes to providing pensions and health benefits for the players who helped create it. WNYC’s Amy Eddings speaks with journalist Nate Chura. His profile of retired player JoAnn Russell for TennisWeek Magazine sheds a light on the WTA’s lackluster pension policies.