LONDON: This year’s Wimbledon singles tennis champions will receive 2.2 million pounds each – a hike of 200,000 pounds for both the men’s and women’s winner, organisers said on Wednesday.
Tournament chiefs unveiled the increased winners cheques among an increased total prize pot of 31.6 million pounds, up from 28.1 million pounds last year.
The bigger pot benefits players throughout the draw, with first round singles losers set to walk away from the All England Club with 35,000 pounds.
In percentage terms, it is those first round losers who benefit the most – their 35,000 pounds prize being almost 17 percent up on last year, reflecting the club’s commitment to the lower reaches of tennis.
“We are proud of the important leadership role that Wimbledon plays locally, nationally, and internationally, and are committed to continuing to invest to secure the future of The Championships, and of our sport, for the years to come,” club chairman Philip Brook said.
Brook said the club had “taken into account” exchange rates, but that the “Brexit effect” had not been instrumental in their calculations.
“Exchange rates go up and go down over time,” he said. “In my time with the club I think all four grand slam tournaments have led on prize money, and now the U.S. dollar is particularly strong.”
The pound has fallen 14 percent against the dollar since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last June.
The U.S. Open has yet to announce its 2017 prize money.
The grass-court grand slam tournament takes place on the fringes of south-west London from July 3-16: the latest start for the tournament since 1895.