25 Apr 2013

Huge Wimbledon windfall for players, and a second roof

8:41 am on 25 April 2013

Wimbledon organisers have moved to justify a staggering 40 percent rise in total prize money to the annual grasscourt grand slam tennis championships, held from late June in south-west London.

That increase will make the pot at this year's championships the biggest ever in the sport, with players receiving a total of more than $41 million.

The men's and women's singles champions will each pocket $2.9 million, while first-round losers in the main draw will still be rewarded with a cheque for almost $42,000.

The All England Club chairman Philip Brook says there had been no pressure from the world's leading players but the increases reflect calls for more prize money for the lesser-ranked players, who are often packing their bags after the early rounds.

Even defeat in the qualifying rounds will be tempered by a 41 percent rise, with almost $22,000 going to players who fall at the last hurdle before the main draw.

Club chiefs are also further redeveloping the site, including putting a second retractable roof on Court One by 2019.