Wimbledon has announced record prize money for this summer’s tournament in a bid to stave off a player boycott after being stripped of ranking points over its ban from Russians and Belarusians.
Those taking part in the Championships will be battling for a total prize pot of £40.35m, up 11.1 per cent from last year’s event – which had a reduced capacity due to the coronavirus – and 5.4 per cent more than the previous one Edition in 2019.
The two singles champions will each take home £2m, the runners-up half of that, while those beaten in the first round will still take home £50,000.
Those participating in the qualifying competition will also benefit from a 26 percent increase over the previous year and a 48.1 percent increase over 2019.
John Isner and Lucas Pouille have publicly hinted they could skip Wimbledon after he was stripped of ranking points for banning the likes of Daniil Medvedev over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “From the first round of qualifying competition to the crowning of the champions, this year’s prize money distribution aims to reflect how important the players are to The Championships as we look to continue to host one of the world’s premier sporting events. “
The doubles and mixed doubles prize pools are up 9.6 and 17.4 percent from 2021 and 2019, respectively, while those for the wheelchair and quad-wheelchair events are up 19.8 and 40.1 percent, respectively.
A return to full viewership for the first time in three years and a scheduled mid-Sunday game for the first time helped make such an increase in prize money possible.
Ahead of her injury-related retirement, Naomi Osaka had said last month: “I’d love to go to get some experience on the grass court, but at the same time for me it’s kind of…I wouldn’t say pointless – no pun intended – but I’m the kind of one Player who gets motivated when he sees my ranking go up, stuff like that.”
Former semi-finalist Isner, who has a plaque at Wimbledon after playing the longest match in tennis history there in 2010, said: “Right now I’m honestly not that excited about Wimbledon. Maybe I’ll just show up on Saturday and maybe I’ll play on Monday and see what happens. Because our currency on tour are points.”
Pouille told L’Equipe he wasn’t expecting to play as he wrongly predicted the prize money would be “reduced”.
He added: “I originally decided not to play Wimbledon before saying to myself, ‘No, it’s still a Grand Slam, you’re going to go’ and I signed up for the grass tournaments. But I don’t think I will go.”
What is it?
It’s the third Grand Slam of the year, the Wimbledon Championship, which will be played from Monday 27 June to Sunday 10 July.
When is the draw for the championships?
The official draw will take place on Friday 24th June at 10am.
How can I follow the draw?
The draw will not be televised, but you can follow all the important games on our live blog. Just bookmark this page and come back on Friday.
Andy Murray withdrew from Queen’s amid speculation his abdominal injury could seriously hamper his Wimbledon campaign.
The damage is not believed to be huge as the two-time champion called the injury “not significant” but “sensitive” and revealed that while he’s back to training with trainer Ivan Lendl he hasn’t been able to practice certain shots, which the case concludes almost certainly the all-important serve.
Emma Raducanu is also struggling with an abdominal injury but, like Murray, is expected to play. The US Open champion will be seeded 10th at this year’s championships, the All England Club has confirmed.
Raducanu, who reached fourth round in her breakthrough tournament at SW19 last year, moves up one place in her world rankings as world No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is absent.
Wimbledon announced in April they would ban players from Russia and Belarus because of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
British men’s No. 1 Cameron Norrie climbs three places to finish ninth, while Dan Evans is seeded 29th.
World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and fellow Russian Andrey Rublev are both absent from the line-up, while world No. 2 Alexander Zverev is also absent through injury.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal each take the top two men’s seedings, while world No. 1 Iga Swiatek leads the women’s seeding ahead of Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur.
Who are the defending champions?
Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty won the singles tournaments in 2021 – but Barty will not return to defend her crown after unexpectedly retiring from tennis earlier this year.
Who received a wildcard for SW19?
Serena Williams has been handed a wildcard to a record 24th Major title at Wimbledon after being sidelined for almost a year through injury.
Williams, 40, last played a competitive game on Center Court at last year’s tournament when she retired in the first round with a hamstring problem.
There were fears if she was close to retiring from the sport but has caused quite a stir by announcing her long-awaited return.
She returned to action alongside world No. 4 Ons Jabeur in women’s doubles at Eastbourne International on Tuesday and will make her Wimbledon comeback the following week.
Wildcards in men’s singles
Zizou Bergs (Bel), Liam Broady (GB), Jay Clarke (GB), Alastair Gray (GB), Paul Jubb (GB), Ryan Peniston (GB), Tim van Rijthoven (Hol), Stan Wawrinka (Swi).
Wildcards in women’s singles
Katie Boulter (GB), Jodie Burrage (GB), Sonay Kartal (GB), Yuriko Miyazaki (GB), Daria Saville (Aus), Katie Swan (GB), Serena Williams (US).
Wildcards in men’s doubles
Liam Broady (GB) / Jay Clarke (GB), Julian Cash (GB) / Henry Patten (GB), Alastair Gray (GB) / Ryan Peniiston (GB), Jonny O’Mara (GB) / Ken Skupski (GB), plus three more pairings to be announced.
Wildcards in women’s doubles
Alicia Barnett (GB) / Olivia Nicholls (GB), Jodie Burrage (GB) / Eden Silva (GB), Harriet Dart (GB) / Heather Watson (GB), Sarah Beth Gray (GB) / Yuriko Miyazaki (GB), Sonay Kartal (GB) / Nell Miller (GB), plus two more pairings to be announced.
Mixed doubles wildcards
Announcement on 29.6.
Men’s Wheelchair Singles Wildcard
Tokyo Oda (Jpn).
Single wild card for women in wheelchairs
Momoko Ohtani (Jpn).
Single wild card for quad wheelchairs
Ymanitu Silva (BH).
Anything new for the tournament?
Wimbledon will become a 14-day tournament from this year, with matches played on the middle Sunday, traditionally a Grand Slam free day.
The first Sunday of Wimbledon is usually a rest day, with tournament organizers working to get the courts back in top shape for the later rounds, resulting in what is known as “Manic Monday”, where the entire fourth round of both men’s and of women takes place singles.
“From 2022, to coincide with Center Court’s 100th anniversary, the middle Sunday will become a regular part of the tournament schedule, making the Championships a 14-day event,” said Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club .
“Thanks to improved turf technology and maintenance over the past five years… we are pleased to be able to attend to the pitches, particularly center court, without a full day off.”
Can I still buy tickets?
Of course. You heard about the Wimbledon queue, right? You can show up at Wimbledon Park and wait patiently for a small number of available Center Court, Court One or Court Two tickets. At the latest from 6 a.m. you have to queue to be lucky.
If you are unable to access the show courts, you can also purchase a day pass which gives you access to all ground courts from #3 to #18. Prices start from £27. The All England Club will only accept cash on this day.
What TV channel is the championships on?
You can catch coverage on BBC One and Two throughout the fortnight – and on the red button. You can also follow Telegraph Sport’s daily coverage.
What are the latest odds?
Latest Odds for the Men’s Champion:
Novak Djokovic 11/10
Rafael Nadal 5/1
Matteo Berrettini 6/1
Stefanos Tsitsipas 17/2
Latest Odds for the Women’s Champion:
Iga Swiatek 3/1
Simona Halep 9/1
Emma Raducanu 1.10