This year’s Wimbledon champions will earn more money than ever before after the tournament boosted its winner’s prize by 10 per cent to £2.2m.
The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club is increasing its overall prize fund to £31.6m, a 12.5 per cent increase on last year’s £28.1m that means even first-round losers will take home a cool £35,000.
Last year’s men and women’s singles champions — Sir Andy Murray and Serena Williams — were paid a then-record £2m for their triumphs.
The forthcoming tournament, which begins on 3 July and lasts for a fortnight, marks a decade since men and women were granted equal prize money.
In the six years since 2011 — when Novak Djokovic won his first title at SW19 — the winner’s prize has doubled from £1.1m.
The reward has increased to such an extent that if world No1 Murray were to successfully defend his title and win the singles championship for a third time, his total winner’s earnings haul will exceed Roger Federer who won Wimbledon a joint-record seven times between 2003 and 2012.
Federer and Angelique Kerber each won AUS$3.7m (£2.1m/$2.8m) for winning this year’s Australian Open, while the French Open will pay €2.1m (£1.8m/$2.3m) to its eventual champions in June.
The US Open, which paid out $3.5m (£2.6m last August) to 2016 winners Stan Wawrinka and Kerber, has yet to announce figures for this year’s competition but will likely retain its status as tennis’ richest tournament.
Yet despite the increase in sterling value of this year’s Wimbledon prize, contestants will take home less in dollar terms following the decline in the value of the pound against the dollar to its current level of $1.29 following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union last June.
The pound has fallen by 14 per cent since then meaning that this year’s prize will be worth $2.8m compared to last year’s $2.9m.