Wimbledon champs hit £1m jackpot

THE singles champions at this year’s Wimbledon will each pocket £1m in prize money for the first time.

The All England Club has increased the winner’s cheque by £150,000 from last year to offset the fall in value of the pound against the dollar and euro.

Each runner-up will take home £500,000 – an increase of 17.6 per cent – in a total prize fund which is double that of 10 years ago.

“It is important we offer a level of prize money which is both appropriate to the prestige of the event and which gives the players full and fair reward,” said All England Club chairman Tim Phillips.

“It shows that the championships are successful and it shows that we care about the players.”

Total prize money for the 21 June to 4 July event is £13.725m – an increase of £1.175m on last year.

Phillips added: “We need to offer prize money that is competitive in the international market.

“That means exchange rates become a consideration and the fact that sterling has fallen by 20 to 25 per cent against the dollar and the euro over the past three years means the increases are slightly bigger than has been the case over the last few years.”

Phillips has also declared this year’s Championships a World Cup-free zone with the All England Club refusing to show matches from South Africa either on the big screen or in public areas.

“This is arguably the leading tennis tournament in the world and people come here to watch tennis,” Phillips added.

“If people want to watch the World Cup they should go to South Africa or watch the TV.”