Tennis-Wimbledon serves up record prize pot, plans to honour Murray

  • Tennis
  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 16, 2023 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -Wimbledon announced record prize money of 50 million pounds ($63.94 million) on Thursday and revealed plans to honour Andy Murray should this year's tournament turn out to be a farewell to the former winner.

The total pot is 11.9%, or 5.3 million pounds, more than the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) paid out at last year's tournament and double the amount on offer in 2014.

The men's and women's singles champions will each receive 2.7 million, compared to 2.35 million last year, and first-round losers will get 60,000 pounds, a rise of 5,000 pounds on 2023.

Losing finalists will be paid 1.4 million each.

The grasscourt Grand Slam runs from July 1-14, with Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and Czech Marketa Vondrousova the defending champions.

Wimbledon reported turnover of 380.2 million pounds last year and an operating profit of 53.8 million.

AELTC chair Debbie Jevans told a news conference that organisers had sought a balance between supporting those who relied on prize money to fund coaching, travel and expenses and rewarding the top-level players.

"Interest in attending Wimbledon has never been greater, with unprecedented demand for tickets through our public ballot and corporate hospitality," said Jevans.

"A thriving, successful Championships gives us the opportunity to give back: to the sport, to our local community, and to strategically invest for the future."

Jevans also announced that wheelchair competitions would have a prize pot of one million pounds to reflect their growing popularity, with singles and doubles draws expanding to 16 players and eight teams.

This year's tournament could be the last for 37-year-old former world number one Murray, whose 2013 title made him the first British Wimbledon men's singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936. He also won in 2016.

AELTC chief executive Sally Bolton said very adaptable plans were in place to honour the Scot.

"We are ready and prepared but ultimately it's Andy's decision and we will very much be led by him, and we can amend our plans accordingly," she said.

"We're clear about what we want to do but it's really important that this is Andy's call."

($1 = 0.7820 pounds)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)

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