Tennis

Upcoming Wimbledon tournaments to feature record purse, full-capacity crowds

Wimbledon will offer a record total of 40.3 million pounds ($50.5 million US) in player compensation, but the singles champions will receive less than the pre-pandemic amount.

ATP announces reforms including increased profit share for players, expanded tournaments

Serbia's Novak Djokovic presents his tennis racquet to a young fan after winning Wimbledon in 2021. The 2022 edition of the event will feature record prize money and the return of full-capacity crowds. (Alberto Pezzali/The Associated Press)

Wimbledon will offer a record total of 40.3 million pounds ($50.5 million US) in player compensation, but the singles champions will receive less than the pre-pandemic amount.

The prize money excluding per diems totals a record 38.9 million pounds ($48.8 million), the All England Club announced Thursday. The men's and women's singles winners will each earn 2 million pounds ($2.5 million), which is 14.9 per cent less than in 2019.

The overall prize money is an 11 per cent increase over last year, when crowd capacity was reduced because of coronavirus restrictions, and a 5.4 per cent increase over 2019.

The oldest Grand Slam tournament begins June 27 and organizers highlighted plans for the grass-court competition to be at full capacity for the first time in three years.

Though below the 2019 amount, the prize money for the men's and women's singles winners is a 17.6 per cent increase from last year, when Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty won their respective titles. The 2020 tournament was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers said the distribution this year "continues to place importance on supporting players in the early rounds of the event." Singles players in the first round will be competing for 50,000 pounds ($62,700), which is 11 per cent higher than in 2019.

Prize money in the wheelchair and quad wheelchair events is up 40 per cent over 2019.

"From the first round of the qualifying competition to the champions being crowned," said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, "this year's prize money distribution aims to reflect just how important the players are to The Championships as we look to continue to deliver one of the world's leading sporting events, and with a particularly special tournament ahead of us as we celebrate 100 years of Centre Court on Church Road."

The All England Club has barred players from Russia and Belarus from Wimbledon this year because of the invasion of Ukraine. In response, the women's and men's professional tours announced they will not award ranking points for Wimbledon this year.

ATP reforms

The ATP men's professional tennis tour announced reforms Thursday that include expansion of five Masters 1000 events and 50-50 profit sharing between players and tournaments starting next year.

Changes approved by the ATP Board also include increased prize money, all the result of more than two years of negotiations.

The "OneVision" phase one plan hopes to increase profits by aggregating tournament revenue into ATP Media and the tour's Tennis Data Innovations.

"Importantly, this will open up major growth opportunities in media and data, two highly scalable revenue streams," the ATP said in a statement. "Embracing the digital transformation will also shift the tour away from over-reliance on ticketing, a concerted move seen across many other major sports."

Players will receive audited tournament financials for the first time and "a ground-breaking 50-50 profit sharing formula will align the interests of players and tournaments in growing the game as partners in success."

Starting next year, Masters events in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai will grow from eight-day competitions to 12 days in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Beginning in 2025, the Canada and Cincinnati events will similarly expand.

Prize money at the five expanded events will increase by more than 35 per cent, the ATP said.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi called approval of the plan "a game-changing moment for the tour and a huge collective effort across our sport."

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