Wimbledon hikes prize money by record 40%

Wimbledon organizers confirmed Tuesday that they have increased prize money for this year's grass-court major tournament by a record 40 per cent to $34.4 million US.

Also plans to build retractable roof on Court No. 1

Serena Williams received $1.75 million for being crowned women's champion at Wimbledon in 2012. (Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Wimbledon is increasing prize money by 40 per cent this year and plans to build a retractable roof over Court No. 1.

Total prize money for the Grand Slam event will be £22.6 million ($34.4 million), an increase of £6.5 million ($9.9 million) from last year, the All England Club said Tuesday.

The club called it the largest single increase and biggest total prize fund in the history of professional tennis.

The men's and women's singles champions will reach receive £1.6 million ($2.4 million). Roger Federer and Serena Williams each received £1.15 million ($1.75 million) for last year's titles.

The focus of the prize money increase will be for players who lose in the early rounds or in qualifying of the grass-court championships, which will be played in London, England, from June 24 to July 7.

Prize money will go up 60 per cent for singles players who lose in the first three rounds.

The purse for qualifying is going up by 41 per cent.

Doubles players will receive a 22 per cent increase in prize money.

Meanwhile, the club said it intends to have a roof installed over Court No. 1 in time for the 2019 tournament.

A retractable roof has been in place on Centre Court since 2009 to cope with the rain delays that have affected Wimbledon.