Wimbledon is richest slam but prize pot rises slow

Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:54am EDT
 
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - The acceleration in the size of the prize money pot at Wimbledon continues to slow but the grasscourt championships remain the richest of the four grand slams.

All England Club officials announced on Tuesday a seven percent overall rise, compared to 10.8 percent last year and 40 percent in 2013, taking the total fund to 26.75 million pounds ($40.88 million).

The increases, unveiled by club chairman Philip Brook at a news conference, means the singles champions will pocket 1.88 million pounds compared to the 1.76 million handed to Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova in 2014.

First-round losers receive 29,000 pounds compared to 11,250 five years ago -- a 152 percent rise driven by a commitment to reward the rank and file pros.

"After three years of favoring the left-hand side of the draw (the first and second rounds) we feel we have got the balance about right," said Brook.

"Without the world's best tennis players we wouldn't have the world's best tennis tournament."

The French Open recently announced a 12 percent increase in prize money, taking it to $29.61 million. This year's Australian Open boasted $32 million while last year's U.S. Open was worth $38 million.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the winner's trophy after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in their men's singles finals tennis match on Centre Court at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London July 6, 2014.     REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth