Wimbledon Championships Boosting Pay for Lower-Ranked Players

Wimbledon will pay its men’s and women’s singles tennis champions 1.15 million pounds ($1.9 million) each and also boost prize money for early-round losers, the All England Club said.

Total prize money for the grass-court major in southwest London increased 10 percent to 16.1 million pounds, the biggest jump since 1993, Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Club, said in a news conference today.

“More needs to be done for lower-ranked players for whom the rising cost of playing tennis outstrips the increase in prize money,” Brook said. “We’ve tried to meet the need that we have heard from the players.”

Players on the men’s tour have been fighting for a greater share of the revenue generated by the sport’s four biggest tournaments. John Isner of the U.S., ranked 11th on the ATP World Tour, said at January’s Australian Open that players had a “legitimate beef” about the amount of prize money offered at the majors.

First-round losers at Wimbledon will receive 14,500 pounds, or a 26 percent increase in prize money, while the payments for the men’s and women’s singles champions have risen 4.5 percent.

Wimbledon follows the French Open, which earlier this month also announced it would offer more cash for early-round losers.

Wimbledon, where Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Czech Petra Kvitova are defending champions, will be held June 25 through July 8.

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