Wimbledon has reduced the awards for this year’s men’s and women’s singles titles, as tennis continues to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Wimbledon’s 153-year-old All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club said on Wednesday it had cut its total prize fund to £35m, a 5.2 per cent drop since 2019 when the tournament was last held. .
Individual players will battle it out for the first-place prize of £1.7 million, 28 per cent less than it was two years ago, when world number one Novak Djokovic and Romanian world number three Simona Halep were victorious.
“As in previous years, and particularly in this challenging year for tour players, the focus of the distribution has been on supporting players in the early rounds of the tournament,” the AELTC said.
The decision to impose the largest discounts on individual players who reach the advanced stages of the grasscourt tournament also highlights the hardships faced by lower-ranked players, who earn only a fraction of the winnings as judged by the top players who also benefit from the big wins. Bail income.
The falling Wimbledon award shows how the pandemic continues to disrupt the world’s biggest sporting events, putting pressure on tournament organizers, teams and players, as governments usually only allow a gradual return to mass gatherings as health services continue to roll out vaccines to the general public. Year.
Prize money is increasing in the individual qualification stage, first to fourth rounds, and quarterfinals, according to AELTC data. However, the semi-finalists’ share of the portfolio will drop by more than a fifth to £930,000, with the runners-up experiencing a similar drop.
While the AELTC increases earnings for participants in wheelchair singles and wheelchair doubles events, players competing in doubles and mixed doubles experience significant declines.
AELTC said crowd capacity was one of the factors it took into account when setting prize money levels, although it was also spending “several £million” on player accommodations this year.
However, fans will be returning to this year’s tournaments. Oliver Dowden, Britain’s culture minister, said the men’s and women’s finals at the 15,000-capacity central stadium will be fully open to fans. The tournament, which begins on June 28, will start at 50 percent capacity and will increase as it progresses.
Tickets will go on sale this Thursday. Fans must either show evidence of a negative lateral flow test or prove that they have received two doses of the vaccine.
Before last year’s cancellation, Wimbledon, first held in 1877, was only canceled due to the two world wars. Although canceling the tournament was a huge blow, AELTC was isolated because it had infectious disease insurance.
The competition, which is shown by the BBC in the UK and ESPN in the US, generates significant revenue from broadcasting and ticketing. AELTC had total revenue of £295.7m in 2019, but fell to £4.9m last year.