WIMBLEDON chiefs have defended their prize money policy after confirming that players at this year’s championships are to earn more than at any tennis tournament in history.
A seven per cent increase in the total pot to £26.75m is reflected in prize money for all rounds, with the men’s and women’s winners banking £1.88m each and even first-round losers pocketing £29,000.
“Without the world’s best tennis players, we wouldn’t have the world’s best tennis tournament,” said tournament chairman Philip Brook said.
“This level of prize money is affordable for these championships and therefore we feel it is important that we should reflect that in what we pay the players.”
Last year’s Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova received £1.76m each. That top prize was eclipsed at the US Open, which paid its winners £1.86m each and is yet to announce its 2015 pot.
Richard Lewis, chief executive of the tournament, which runs from 29 June to 12 July, said there was “absolutely no intention whatsoever” to sell rights to a subscription broadcaster such as Sky or BT Sport.