London - Prize money keeps going up at Wimbledon, with first-round losers as well as champions cashing in on record rewards.
All England Club announced Tuesday that prize money for this year's
grass-court Grand Slam will increase by 7 percent to reach a total of
The men's and women's singles champions will each receive £1.88 million.
said the prize fund will be "the highest ever in professional tennis,"
surpassing last year's US Open purse.
space of four years, Wimbledon's purse has almost doubled in size from
the £14.6 million on offer in 2011.
The increase has also filtered down to the early stages of the tournament.
first-round loser this year will receive £29 000, a 7
percent increase from the £27 000 pounds offered last year.
chairperson Philip Brook said the prize money helps preserve Wimbledon's
premier status and rejected suggestions that the winners are overpaid.
think without the world's best tennis players, we wouldn't have the
world's best tennis tournament," Brook said. "We recognise the players
are an essential ingredient of our championships and this level of prize
money is affordable for these championships and therefore we feel it is
important that we should reflect that in what we pay the players."
prize money for the singles winners will rise 7 percent from the £1.76
million won by last year's champions Novak Djokovic and Petra
Men's and women's doubles winners will earn £340 000, an increase of £15 000, while mixed doubles
winners will receive a rise of 4 percent to £100 000.
will run from June 29 to July 12. The break between the French Open and
Wimbledon, normally two weeks, has been extended to three weeks for the
first time this year.
The All England Club also said Hawk-Eye
technology will be used on Courts 12 and 18, making it six courts in
total equipped with the line-calling system.
Overall capacity has
increased by 500 to 39 000 because Courts 14 and 15 will be available
again after being re-laid during last year's event. A total of 19 courts
will be in play for the championships.
Officials said progress is
running on schedule for a roof to be built on Court 1, which should be
ready for the 2019 competition.
All England Club chief executive
Richard Lewis dismissed speculation that Wimbledon could sell British
television rights to subscription channel Sky and break its long-term
association with the BBC.
"There's absolutely no intention to go
down that route whatsoever," Lewis said. "We have a very, very strong
relationship with the BBC and we feel it works very well. And we see
absolutely no reason to change that.
"Never say never, but not in the foreseeable future."