Wimbledon's early victims will be comforted by a significant increase in prize money this year after organisers on Tuesday announced a 26 percent pay rise for first-round losers.
The winners' cheques for the men's and women's singles will increase to $1.85 million for this year's championships at the All England Club, a 4.5 percent jump on the amount pocketed by last year's champions Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova.
Total prize money for the June 25-July 8 Wimbledon championships, the 126th edition of the grasscourt grand slam, will be $26 million, a 10 percent rise.
Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Club, said organisers had acted to reward the game's lesser lights whose lower earnings, compared to the sport's biggest draws, has prompted talk of possible player boycotts over the past year.
First-round losers in the men's and women's singles this year will earn $23,400 while those who lose in qualifying can look forward to a 21 percent increase in prize money.
"Wimbledon continues to be successful and we are delighted to share that success with the players by increasing total prize money by 10 percent, the largest increase since 1993," said Brook, who met a committee of leading players, including Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, at Indian Wells this year to discuss prize money.
"At the same time, we appreciate the need to help players meet the rising costs associated with professional tennis so the majority of the record 1.5-million-pounds increase will be distributed to those who are knocked out in the early rounds of the championship," he told a news conference.
Wimbledon's move to spread the money more evenly follows that of the French Open which recently announced a rise of 20 percent for first-round losers at this year's tournament.
|< Prev||Next >|
Other articles in Sports
Balotelli faces racist chants in training 22 May 2014
LeBron James levels it for Miami 21 May 2014
Spurs rout Thunder in series opener 20 May 2014
Pacers too hot for Miami in NBA 19 May 2014
Williams defends Rome title 18 May 2014
Bolivian club sign country's President 17 May 2014
#FIFA president says Qatar World Cup a mistake 16 May 2014
Murray breezes past Granollers in Italy 16 May 2014
Sevilla win Europa final after penalties 15 May 2014
Red Bull: Vettel's chassis not distorted 14 May 2014
|Timothy V. Gatto|