Stan Wawrinka - 2016 US Open champion

Stan Wawrinka accuses Grand Slams of ‘ridiculous’ treatment of players

Stan Wawrinka has accused the Grand Slams of hoarding money away from tennis and failing to ‘redistribute’ it to the players.

Wawrinka has won three majors in his career with Wimbledon the one missing from his collection.

However, he believes the Grand Slam tournaments are too self-serving and have not increased prize money proportionately with the increase in their revenues.

“They do not redistribute enough to tennis compared to the income they generate,” Wawrinka told L’Equipe. “And they have way too much power, because they make [so much] money.

“[The Slams are] where the history of tennis is written. These are the richest Federations which do not redistribute much.

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“Even between them, there is no communication. The income from Grand Slams today is very important and the percentage returned to players is ridiculous. It has hardly increased at all.

“Grand Slam tournaments only concern their interest, for their country and their Federation. Today, we are stuck until the day the players say stop.

“The problem with tennis is that there are too many governances, too many different entities which only look out for their own interests. Today, the real problem in tennis is the Grand Slams.”

What was prize money for Grand Slams in 2023?

The Grand Slam events are the cornerstones of the tennis season and easily the biggest paydays for the players.

Total 2023 Prize Money Change from 2022
Australian Open £43,300,000 +3.38%
French Open £43,060,000 +13.76%
Wimbledon £44,700,000 +10.78%
US Open £51,000,000 +8.15%

At first glance, the prize money pots are certainly eye-catching and clearly none of the players who take part do so for a pittance.

In fact, even a player who made it to the third qualifying round at Wimbledon in the singles this year but failed to get themselves into the main draw walked away with £36,000. An exit in the first round of qualifying was worth £12,750. Meanwhile, even a modest run to round three proper would see a return of £131,000.

However, Wawrinka makes a reasonable point about the revenues. They are certainly going up a lot faster than the prize money is.

For example, between 2019 and 2022, the Championship’s income soared from £292million to £346.6million. That is an increase of nearly 55million. However, the prize pot has only swelled by £6.7million in that time.

It is important to note that we, and indeed Stan Wawrinka, are not conducting a comprehensive review of any finances here. We know nothing of how costs may have increased as well and any other challenges tournaments face.

However, Wawrinka is certainly right when he says Grand Slam income is increasing far faster than prize money payouts are.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.