Wimbledon prize pot to increase by 10%
Originally published on: 24/04/12 00:00
The All England Club have announced that the prize pot at this year’s 126th Wimbledon Championships will increase by 10 per cent on last year – to £16.1million.
Benefiting most from the percentage hike are singles players knocked out in qualifying or the early rounds of the Championships, with an increase of 26% for first round losers, who will now pocket £14,500, and an increase of 21% in all rounds of the qualifying events. For the record, a third round loser in qualifying will now recieve £8,500.
The decision recognises the rising costs associated with professional tennis, and bows to escalating discontent from many of the tour's lower-ranked players. Per diems are also set to rise by 17%, with funds to help with daily player expenses rising from £170 to £200 for a main draw player and £85 to £100 for a qualifier.
The 2012 Men’s and Ladies’ Singles Champions will also benefit from a rise, albeit a smaller increase of £50,000 (4.5%), as the winner’s cheques rise to £1,150,000.
“Wimbledon continues to be successful and we are delighted to share that success with the players by increasing total prize money by 10%, the largest increase since 1993,” said Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club. “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 £1.5m increase will be distributed to those who are knocked out in the early rounds of The Championships.”
Money was not the only thing on the agenda at the All England Club's annual Spring press conference. Yyou might also like to note that play on Courts 2 – 9 will start half an hour earlier this year – at 11.30am – to allow the players a better chance of completing their matches in the best possible playing conditions and to ensure matches have a greater chance of being finished on the original day of the schedule. Gates will open at 10.30am as usual.
Amusingly, given the recent climate in the UK, there was also plenty of talk about drought measures. SW19 could look a little less colourful this year since there will be a reduction in the number of hanging baskets and more drought tolerant plants placed around the grounds. Although the Championships and the Olympics (and qualifying events) are subject to an exemption in terms of watering, the club does have contingency plans in place were the exemption to be removed.
If you are reading this in the USA, you'll be pleased to know that owing to the commercial agreement the Championships now have with broadcaster ESPN, play from all courts will be shown live across the pond. And after the success of last year, fans will also be able to watch the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in glorious 3D.
There's plenty to look forward to when the highlight of the grass season begins on Monday 25 June.