Wimbledon announced record prize money for this year’s edition of tennis’ oldest Grand Slam tournament, on Thursday.
The total prize money of £40.35 million represents an 11.1 per cent increase on last year’s Championships, where capacity at the southwest London venue was reduced for Covid reasons.
It is also 5.4 per cent more than what was offered to competitors during the last ‘regular’ edition of Wimbledon in 2019.
There had been speculation that the removal of ranking points by the ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) tours, following Wimbledon’s controversial decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, could lead to a reduced prize fund.
But with capacity crowds expected and scheduled play on the middle Sunday for the first time, organizers have boosted the overall total.
Players beaten in the first round of the singles will still collect £50,000 while the runners-up in the finals will each take home more than £1 million.
Former world number one Naomi Osaka has threatened to withdraw from this year’s Wimbledon, over the decision to strip the tournament of ranking points, but has still to confirm if she will indeed miss the last of tennis’s four majors still played on grass.
Ian Hewitt, chairman of Wimbledon organizers the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), said: “From the first round of the qualifying competition to the champions being crowned, this year’s prize money distribution aims to reflect just how important the players are. to The Championships as we look to continue to deliver one of the world’s leading sporting events.”
This year’s Wimbledon starts on June 27, with Novak Djokovic set to defend his men’s singles title but no reigning women’s champion taking part after Australia’s Ashleigh Barty retired in March.