Wimbledon payout hike targets lower-ranked players
The All England Club has increased the prize money at this
year’s Wimbledon tennis championship by 10 percent, with a majority
of the cash directed to help lower-ranked players.
Although the men’s and women’s singles champions will each
receive a record $1.85 million, most of the $2.4 million increase
to the overall pot will go to players who lose in qualifying or the
”Wimbledon continues to be successful and we are delighted to
share that increase with the players,” All England Club Chairman
Philip Brook said. ”At the same time, we appreciate the need to
help players meet the rising costs associated with professional
Those losing before the fourth round of the singles’
competitions will receive an increase of at least 13 percent.
There will be a total $26 million in prize money.
The increase for the lower-ranked players, some of whom struggle
to cover the costs of training, traveling and competing at major
tournaments, was requested by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger
Federer and Andy Murray in a meeting with championship officials in
Indian Wells, Calif.
”It doesn’t happen with many sports and credit to them for
doing it,” Brook said. ”It shows that with the top four players
you have people of quality.”
Brook denied that any player had threatened to pull out of the
championship in an effort to force the increase.
Prize money for all rounds increased at the same rate until
2006, when the annual raise for the singles’ champions began to
dramatically outstrip that for early losers.
Other changes announced Tuesday include playing 30 minutes
earlier on courts 2-19 in the hope that an 11:30 a.m. start cuts
down on the number of matches held over by the changeable British
A new tournament website can show live action, although it will
be restricted to one game per set per match every hour to avoid
competition with broadcasters ESPN and the BBC.
The BBC has agreed to continue coverage of the event through
2017, taking its partnership with the tournament to 90 years.
Brook said the All England Club is also formulating the details
of a new plan for ground development and championship organization
through 2020. That could include a roof on No. 1 Court similar to
that on Centre Court.
”That doesn’t mean we have decided to do it,” Brook said. ”It
means we will consider it.”