Wimbledon announce increase in prize money

Wimbledon have announced a substantial increase in prize money for the 2012 championships.

All England club chairman Philip Brook met with Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at Indian Wellslast month to discuss the increasingly thorny issue.

The quartet had argued for an increase for the lower ranked players to recognise “the rising costs associated with professional tennis”.

As a result, the biggest percentage increases goes to those players knocked out in qualifying (21%) and to the first round losers, whose prize money has been boosted by 26% from last year to £14,500.

The total fund for 2012 will increase by 10% to £16.1million with the men’s and ladies champions receiving an extra £50,000 each, taking their prize money to £1.15million.

“There hasn’t been any suggestion of industrial action or unrest,” Brook said. “There was a request to go and meet with them in Indian Wells. We respected that request.

“In those top four players we have people of quality and integrity who want to do the right thing for the sport.

“What we heard from them was not a request for more prize money for them but they recognised this was an issue for the sport. They were there representing all the players on the tour.

“It is clear more needs to be done for lower end players for whom the rising costs of professional tennis have out-stripped prize money.

“We are hopeful these changes will be received very positively by the tours.”

Brook does not believe the four Grand Slams should work together on the issue – and he is confident Wimbledon have struck the right balance between prize money and grass roots investment.

“This is a world stage in tennis so the prize money at Wimbledon needs to reflect our position on the world stage,” Brook said.

“We also have to be mindful of the fact we have a need to continue to invest in the Championships.

“We shouldn’t forget one of the reasons why Wimbledon is as successful and the title so sought after today is because of the significant investment in the Championships.”