ALL England Club chairman Philip Brook has defended the decision to increase the prize pot for this year’s Wimbledon championships by 40 per cent, as the grand slam looks to maintain its reputation of being the No1 tennis tournament in the world.
The winners of this year’s singles events will pocket £1.6m each with the total fund standing at £22.6m, the largest for any tennis event.
And Brook, who also announced a retractable roof will be installed on Court One in time for the 2019 championships, feels the steep hike in prize money had to be implemented.
“Wimbledon is regarded as the finest stage in world tennis,” he said.
“However, we recognise we have to work hard to improve further our facilities and that standing still is not an option.”
The prize funds for the players who exit Wimbledon in the first three rounds has increased by more than 60 per cent and Brook acknowledged the importance of rewarding every player in the draw.
He added: “For the players, it is a deep appreciation of the demanding nature of professional tennis and the top quality entertainment that they bring.”
2013 prize money (2012 in brackets):
■ Singles champions £1.6m (£1.15m)
■ First round losers £23K (£14.5K)
■ Total pot £22.6m (£16.1m)