Wimbledon follows trend with prize money increase

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced that the overall prize fund for this year’s Wimbledon Championships will total £25m (€30.4m/$42m), an increase of £2.4m on the previous year’s grand slam tournament.

The winners of the men’s and women’s singles competitions will each receive £1.7m, an increase of 10 per cent on the £1.6m handed out in the 2013 tournament.

At the heart of the increase is a wish by the Club to continue to build on the work of the last two years targeting the increases to the side of the draw which it was felt needed it most – those players who lose in the early rounds or in qualifying. 

For 88 per cent of singles players who lose in the first three rounds of the Championships, there is an increase of over 12.5 per cent in the prize money each will receive this year, thereby increasing the prize money for these players by over 100 per cent over a three-year period. Similarly, there is a 12.5 per cent increase in prize money for qualifying bringing the three-year increase for this group to 93 per cent.

AELTC chairman Philip Brook told UK broadcaster the BBC that although the players are not “pleading poverty” they are also not making huge amounts of money for “world-class” athletes.

“We have been conscious of the fact that we have many players coming to Wimbledon who are making their way on the professional circuit looking to reach the top echelons of the sport,” Brook said. “It is a very long and a very expensive road on which to travel, and we've felt for the last two or three years that we need to do more to help these players on that journey."

The US Open was the most generous of the four grand slam events last year after it paid out a total of €24.3m in prize money. Earlier this year, the 2014 Australian Open had a prize pool of €23.9m. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) this month announced that the 2014 French Open will offer total prize money of more than €25m, an increase of €3m in comparison with the 2013 edition of the tournament.

Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli won the 2013 Wimbledon singles titles, with the Frenchwoman retiring from the sport soon after.  This year’s Wimbledon Championships take place from June 23 until July 6.