THERE'S never been a better time to be a female athlete.
Our talented women of yesteryear must be applauding the huge opportunities afforded to our best and brightest of the current day, but lamenting their luck they weren't born later.
Ashleigh Barty won a whopping $3.76 million for claiming her first Grand Slam victory at the French Open.
Tennis is one of the few sports which offers equal prize money for female athletes, with men's champion Rafael Nadal collecting the exact same cheque at Roland Garros.
Tennis and golf were two of the few sports where females can earn enough to set themselves up for the rest of their lives, but other sports are beginning to head in the right direction.
Australian women's cricket team the Southern Stars are the best in the business, and are rewarded appropriately with Cricket Australia contracts that have grown markedly in recent years.
Soccer's Matildas also enjoy a substantially bigger profile thanks to increased media and TV exposure, while the AFLW, NRLW and Super W are booming.
More money means females have to devote less time working other jobs to support themselves, which gives them more time to train, develop and improve the quality of their respective competitions.
With that comes more eyeballs on TVs and more bums on seats. A positive domino effect which benefits athletes and sports lovers alike.
Hopefully female sport gets to the stage where anyone playing at a professional level will be able to focus full-time on their craft.
When working at The Canberra Times I was lucky to witness firsthand the hectic schedule female athletes juggle to chase their sporting dreams, and to pay the bills.
There was only one Lauren Jackson on Women's National Basketball League team the Canberra Capitals.
Some players do a full day's work before heading to training, and spend every second week interstate playing games, for little more than a few thousand bucks and a gym membership.
Only a special few reach the top level, but the carrot of being able to make a decent living out of playing sport at least entices more young girls to get off the couch and get active.
People don't want to be what they can't see. Now our best female athletes are starting to get the exposure they deserve, they can inspire more stars of tomorrow.
"They (juniors) see someone who is winning and they're happy for them, but if they lose and they're still happy they know it's not the end of the world," she said.
"You want to see someone showing a positive message, whether they win or lose. That's why Ash is so good for kids."