Wimbledon announce increase in prize money for losers
Wimbledon's early victims will
be comforted by a larger slice of the total prize money this year after
organisers today announced a 26 per cent pay rise for first-round
The substantial increase for the also-rans dwarfs the 4.5-percent rise for the men's and women's singles winners at this year's grasscourt tennis grand slam.
However, the £1.15m up for grabs for the champions still represents a £50,000 jump on what last year's victors Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova received.
Total prize money for the June 25-July 8 Wimbledon championships, the 126th edition of the tournament, will be £16.1m, a 10 percent rise on last year.
Those who crash out in first-round matches on the opening Monday might even be able to spend some of their £14,500 cheque on a spot of lunch as play on all but the two main show courts will begin for the first time at 11.30am.
The distribution of prize money at the grand slams has been a matter of friction between the players and the sport's hierarchy over the past year with the possibility of a boycott mooted before this year's Australian Open.
Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Club, travelled to Indian Wells this year for talks with the men's "big four" - Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray - about the issue of prize money.
At a news conference at the All England Club on Tuesday he said the increases in the prize money for the game's lesser lights reflected the rising costs associated with professional tennis and did not reward failure.
"For the lower-ranked players the rising costs of professional tennis have outstripped the growth in prize money," said Brook, who used a graph to show how prize money had stagnated for early losers at Wimbledon from 2007-11 but soared for those progressing furthest.
"What we are doing is taking a significant step to redress that gap that had emerged over the last five years."
Winners' prize money, he said, had risen by 130 per cent over the past 11 years, while the increases announced today meant first-round losers' pay had risen by 93 per cent in that period.
"I hope it will be received very positively. There was a need to do something about it and we are proud to have done our part. For sure we know the top players drive the popularity of the sport and we admire them greatly for their skill.
"But what we heard from the top players was not a request of more prize money for them but a responsibility for all those around them. They recognised it was an issue for all the sport.
"Just to be in the tournament, either straight into the main draw, or through qualifying is a big achievement in itself. Half the players do lose in the first round, that's the nature of a knockout sport."
Brook also announced that players who lose in the final qualifying will earn £8,500 - a 21 percent rise. Players in the main draw will also have a £200 daily expense allowance, up from £170 last year.
Wimbledon's move to spread the money more evenly follows that of the French Open which recently announced a rise of 20 per cent for first-round losers at this year's tournament.
Earlier this year, Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky, ranked 68, illustrated the disparity in prize money, saying he was out of pocket if he lost in the first round of obligatory Masters Series events.
Despite being comfortably inside the world's top 100 Stakhovsky earned $484,510 in 2011, compared to the $12.5 million that Djokovic earned.
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Ukip captures Labour fortress in South Yorkshire by-election
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.