Grossman fails to break $1m

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The Independent Online
Ann Grossman's quick-fire defeat by Monica Seles in the first round thwarted the chances of the Ohio-born right-hander joining the million dollar club.

Grossman, in her first Centre Court appearance, lost 6-2, 6-2 to Seles and only earned $6,800 (pounds 4, 250) as a first-round loser. This now leaves Grossman, who has yet to win a title on the WTA Tour - with earnings at $950,000, although the figure is not bad for someone ranked 66th in the world.

Aged 25, Grossman has already overtaken the career earnings of one of Britain's best, Sue Barker, now a BBC TV commentator, who ban- ked $878,701 in her tennis life.

As you would expect, the queen of tennis, Martina Navratilova, the former world No 1, is the leading money-earner in the women's game with an incredible $20,337,902. This year's favourite, Steffi Graf, is, however, catching her fast and will crash through the $18.5m barrier if she lifts her fifth title in six years.

Graf, ironically, will go from Wimbledon to the Atlanta Olympics, where she will not earn a penny if she triumph. "The gold medal meant as much to me as any Grand Slam title", she said after the Seoul Olympics eight years ago.

n As the temperatures soared into the mid-70s at Wimbledon, the bookmakers believe it is getting more likely that there will not be a drop of rain during the Championships' fortnight. William Hill were forced to shorten the odds of no rain falling at Wimbledon in 1996 from 8-1 to 4-1 after a "flood'' of bets. "There's only been one day lost to rain in three years, so the odds are coming down all the time," said William Hill's Graham Sharpe.