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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Wimbledon’s Record $64M Prize Pool Spurs Tennis-Wide Pay Increase

  • The oldest of the tennis Grand Slams raises its prize fund to a record $64 million.
  • The other majors have made similar boosts as more money flows into tennis.
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Wimbledon is offering record-level prize money for the upcoming 2024 tournament, a move that will once again help establish the tennis major as a compensation trendsetter for the rest of the sport.

The All England Club said Thursday it will pay out a $64 million prize money fund for the event starting July 1, an 11.9% increase from last year in raw terms and more than 13% when accounting for currency variations. Wimbledon singles winners will receive $3.45 million each, up from $3 million last year, while those losing in the first round of the singles tournament will get $76,636 each, up from $69,500 in 2023.

Overall, the Wimbledon prize pool has grown by nearly one-third compared to 2019 and doubled compared to ’14. The latest figure also extends what has been a strong recovery for the 147-year-old event from the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of the ’20 tournament and reduced prize money in ’21.

“Interest in attending Wimbledon has never been greater, with unprecedented demand for tickets through our public ballot and corporate hospitality,” said Deborah Jevans, All England Club chair.

Keeping Up

Last year’s boost in the Wimbledon prize fund was soon followed by a similar, 8% rise for the 2023 U.S. Open pool to $65 million, joined by increases in per-diem allowances, travel assistance, and hotel allotments for players. As the ’24 Wimbledon figure roughly matches last year’s U.S. Open, it’s expected that the New York–based event will soon unveil its updated figure and again assert itself as the most lucrative event in tennis, particularly in the wake of record attendance it had last year.

The other two tennis majors held this year have also followed the lead of Wimbledon, as the 2024 Australian Open offered a record $57.5 million prize pool, up by 13%, while the recently completed French Open awarded $57.7 million, up by 7.8% from last year.

This year’s Wimbledon will be without some veteran star power, however, as Rafael Nadal said Thursday he will skip the tournament to prepare for the Paris Olympics. Novak Djokovic, the 2023 Wimbledon men’s runner-up, recently had surgery on a torn meniscus sustained during the French Open and his playing status also is uncertain.

Expansion Plans

The Wimbledon prize money boost additionally arrives as All England Club officials are still attempting to pursue a dramatic, $250 million enlargement of its facility. Local officials have shown concern about the effort—several years in the making—to build a new, 8,000-seat stadium and 39 additional courts, but the matter is now in front of the office of London mayor Sadiq Khan. Wimbledon is the only one of tennis’s four Grand Slam tournaments that doesn’t hold its qualifying events on-site—they’re held several miles away at a smaller, 2,000-capacity venue.

“We look forward to a public hearing on our application shortly, and we will continue to work with all relevant parties as we look to deliver one of the greatest sporting transformations [in London] since the 2012 Olympic Games,” the All England Club said. 

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