Wimbledon to pay out £34m at 2018 championships

Ruben Hill
May 1, 2018

Several players were widely criticised a year ago when they played in first-round matches at Wimbledon, despite being clearly unfit, in order to claim the prize money for losing at that stage.

According to the new rule, if an injured player withdraws onsite after midday on the Thursday before the Championships they will receive 50 percent of the first-round prize money.

"We have been lobbying for several years about players not earning sufficient prize money to cover expenses, or if they aren't likely to be able to, or aren't of a sufficient standard, then they shouldn't be professional".

Of that, 2.25 million pounds ($3.07 million) will go to the men's and women's champions - up 50,000 pounds ($68,000) from 2017.

The haul is larger than the Australian Open's £31 million, but slightly less than the £34.5 million available at this year's French Open.

The U.S. Open, the final grand slam of the tennis calendar starting in August, is yet to announce its prize money.

Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam event to be played on grass, will take place from July 2 to 15.

"We would respect any agreement we have, but I think it is unlikely someone out of the top 32 will be put into the top 32", said Lewis. "The rule is there to be enforced by the umpires".

"We don't agree with the trials that are being used at the moment to see whether it makes the sport more interesting".

Wimbledon bosses offered more clarity on the idea of coaching from the sidelines, which is now banned at the tournament.

"We believe and are proud of the fact that tennis is a gladiatorial sport", said Lewis. The tournament organisers will enforce warm-up timing to speed up the game.

"It is a concern, it's not easy to deal with".

"There have been examples where players have been moved up the seedings if they are in the top 32", said Lewis. "Toilet breaks can be an issue".

Past year more than 400,000 plastic straws were used during the tournament.

In February it was estimated that the United Kingdom uses 8.5 billion straws a year, according to the Marine Conservation Society, and plastic straws are one of the top 10 items found in beach clean-ups.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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