Roland Garros Ball 2020 for French Open Garros Ball 2020

Increased French Open prize money provides relief for lower-ranked players

In a difficult season heavily disrupted by the pandemic, prize money at the French Open has offered much-needed relief for lower-ranked players. 

With players unable to make a living from tennis during the five month shutdown, the increased prize money at Roland Garros this year for those losing in the first round or in qualifying is providing a vital financial boost for the lower-ranked players.

At the French Open this year, prize money for those losing in the opening round was increased by 30% to 60,000, while pay in the qualifying rounds saw a 27% hike compared to last year.

“Any players who lose in the first round of the qualifying competition will take home a cheque for 10,000,” Roland Garros organisers stated last month. “The players competing in this event are those who have been the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis, financially-speaking.”

According to a 2014 ITF survey, the average cost of playing professional tennis per year was $38,800 for men and $40,180 for women, with the findings encouraging all four Grand Slams to increase the prize money in their respective qualifying tournaments and the early rounds of the main draws in support of the lower-ranked players.

The increased pay in the earlier rounds provides vital relief for some, especially in a year where 17 of the 64 players through to the third round of the men’s and women’s singles at Roland Garros are ranked outside of the top 100.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.