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10 Jun, 2022 12:39

Wimbledon confirms record prize money in absence of Russian stars

The total riches on offer will be close to $50 million
Wimbledon confirms record prize money in absence of Russian stars

British tennis tournament Wimbledon has announced that its women's and men's singles champions will take home equal pay of £2 million ($2.5 million) each amid record £40.35 million ($50 million) prize money.

The move ends speculation that the Grand Slam having ranking points taken away from it by the ATP and WTA men's and women's tours might lead to a reduced fund. 

The tours decided on their action in response to Wimbledon's ban on Russian athletes for their country's military operation in Ukraine.

And though top professionals such as Naomi Osaka have suggested they might skip SW19 this summer due to the lack of ranking points, which have effectively made the tournament an "exhibition" event, the improved prize money might push her and others to reconsider such a stance.

The total prize money on offer is an 11.1% increase when compared to 2021's event and a 5.4% increase compared to 2019.

In this year's edition of the tournament, a full-capacity crowd will also enjoy the action for the first time since the pandemic broke out in 2020.

"From the first round of the qualifying competition to the champions being crowned, this year’s prize money distribution aims to reflect just how important the players are to The Championships as we look to continue to deliver one of the world’s leading sporting events," said Wimbledon Chairman Ian Hewitt announcing the increments. 

While players who lose in the first round of the singles event will collect £50,000 ($62,000), runners-up can take home over £1 million ($1.25 million) from the English capital.

Despite his opposition to the treatment of Russian players, men's world number one Novak Djokovic will defend his 2021 crown at Wimbledon yet will not face competition from world number two Daniil Medvedev.

In the media, however, US Open ruler Medvedev has revealed that he is still open to playing in the grass court season's highlight if there is a change of heart from organizers before June 27 when Wimbledon kicks off.

"If I can play Wimbledon I will be happy to be there, even without points," Medvedev recently confirmed.

Due to her retirement earlier this year, Ashleigh Barty can be succeeded by the likes of current WTA world number one Iga Swiatek, who won the French Open last weekend, as the women's singles champion at Wimbledon.