Wimbledon: We weren't forced into prize money increase

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

All England Club chairman Philip Brook tells reporters that the reason why Wimbledon announced a massive 40 percent increase in prize money for the 2013 tournament is because they felt it was the right thing to do — not because the players forced them into it.

"These are significant increases and we have made them because we wanted to and not because we had to," Brook said. “I know the economic climate is difficult, I accept that, but the world that we live in is a world where we are competing with other international tennis events and we also keep an eye on what is happening in other sports.”

In accordance with the three other Grand Slams, Wimbledon will distribute more of its increase in the lower rounds. First-round losers will be presented with nearly a $36,000 check, up from just over $22,000 last year, a 62 percent increase.  Second-round losers will receive $58,000 dollars, up from just over $35,000 last year, a 64 percent increase. The semifinalists, finalist and champions will receive a 39 percent increases. Men’s and women's winners will each earn about $2.44 million.

Even those who lose in the final round of qualifying will get a 41 percent increase, to just over $18,000.

Players who enter and lose in the first round of singles, doubles and mixed will take in about $43,000. Interestingly, mixed doubles received no increase at all, but the doubles did with first-round losers getting a 42 percent raise to $11,845.

"We started last year focusing the prize-money increases on those that lose in the early rounds or qualifying," Brook told Reuters. "These are not players who are superstars (but) players who are finding their way and not making a lot of money. We wanted to build on what we did last year and our increases reflect that.”

Brook also outlined plans to put a roof over the 11,500-seat Court One by 2019.

"The design process will take two years and then, in view of the fact that the Centre Court roof took three years to construct, we are looking at 2019 for it to be working,” he said.

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