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Serena: Fans definitely get money's worth

Two years after women won their battle to earn equal prize money with men at Wimbledon, the likes of Venus and Serena Williams are leaving fans feeling rather short-changed at the All England Club in London.

Less than 24 hours after British hope Andy Murray set pulses racing in his five-set win over Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, spectators flocking to Court One on Tuesday would have hoped to witness similar nerve-jangling action on women's quarter-final day.

Instead, what they got for shelling out 62 pounds (US$102.8) for their seats was two lopsided contests lasting a total of two hours 14 minutes.

With Serena needing little more than an hour to polish off Victoria Azarenka it meant Murray and Wawrinka's four-hour duel lasted longer than three of the women's quarter-finals combined.

As the women's draw was trimmed to the final four - top seeds Dinara Safina, Serena, Venus and Elena Dementieva - the arguments about whether they deserve the same amount of money as their male counterparts is likely to rage on.

Venus, Serena and Russia's Dementieva have sliced through the draw without dropping a set at this year's championships. In contrast, all eight of the men's quarter-finalists have surrendered at least one set.

It is not five-times champion Venus, Serena or Dementieva's fault that they are proving to be in a league of their own but many pundits believe this year's grass-court major is turning out to be a bad advert for women's tennis.

Serena disagreed.

"You get to see these female players playing their best tennis not losing a set. I think that's tremendous," said the world number two after booking a semifinal date with Dementieva.

"Those top players are really playing their top game, so, yeah, definitely getting your money's worth."

The numbers, however, tell a different story.

For reaching the semifinals, the top four seeds are guaranteed to walk away with at least US$352,500.

Tuesday's losers have not done too badly either.

Agnieszka Radwanska picked up a measly three games against Venus, but still pocketed a cool US$175,000.


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