£25 million prize pot for Wimbledon
Agencies in London
Total prize money for this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament will reach £25 million (HK$326 million), an increase of 11 per cent that will mostly favour the early-round losers.
The All England Club said on Tuesday that the men’s and women’s singles champions will each receive £1.76 million, a 10 per cent increase on last year’s top prize won by Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli.
But the main increases are for the early losers, with players who fail to get past the third round receiving prize money worth 12.5 per cent more than last year. First-round losers will each receive £27,000.
“We’ve placed emphasis on the large group of players who need our help the most, those players who lose in qualifying and in the early rounds of the championships,” Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook said. “We also had an eye to being competitive internationally, and we do keep our watch on what is going on in other tennis events and in particular the other grand slams.”
The grass-court Wimbledon grand slam will be played from June 23 to July 6.
The French Open now offers more than 25 million euros (HK$267 million) while the US Open increased its purse to US$34.3 million and the Australian Open went up to A$33 million (HK$234 million).
Meanwhile, Murray should be spared a horror draw despite his recent rankings slide, organisers said.
Murray, who became the first British man to win the men’s singles at the grass court grand slam for 77 years last July when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final, has sunk to eighth in the ATP rankings which at most tournaments determine seedings.
However, Wimbledon’s seeding system, which takes into account past performances on the grass surface, means it is unlikely Murray would find himself outside the top four seeds even if his world ranking does not improve.
Associated Press, Reuters