Sir Andy Murray can become the second highest-earning male tennis player in Wimbledon history if he shrugs off his Queen’s Club disappointment to win a third men's singles title.
Murray admitted that his Wimbledon chances had been hit after he suffered a shock first-round defeat to world No90 Jordan Thompson at the Aegon Championships last week.
The world No1's less than ideal preparation continued this week when he was forced to pull out of an exhibition match with a sore hip.
Yet the reward for a rapid recovery at Wimbledon is bigger than ever before, with a record prize of £2.2m on offer to this year’s champion.
Tournament organiser the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club has increased the overall prize fund to £31.6m this year – a 12.5 per cent jump on last year’s £28.1m.
That means even if Murray were to succumb to another calamitous first-round loss, he would still take home a cool £35,000.
Prize money paid to the singles champions has more than doubled since in the last six years — a period of the tournament’s history that has been particularly profitable for Murray following his 2016 and 2013 wins.
When Novak Djokovic won his first title at SW19 in 2011, his prize was just £1.1m.
Both Murray and Djokovic, with £6.9m and £8.4m respectively, are behind Roger Federer in total Wimbledon earnings.
The Swiss, who is the joint-record singles titles holder on seven with Pete Sampras, has made £11.1m from his outings at the tournament.
Yet Murray could leapfrog the out-of-form Djokovic if the Serb fails to reach the final and the Briton wins the title, a triumph that would boost his all-time Wimbledon earnings to £9.1m.
That would represent 18.3 per cent of the Scot’s entire career prize money earnings — a higher percentage than Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.