We have seen the prize money for tennis’ major tournaments increase, over the last few years, and now the French Tennis Federation is marching in line with the rest of the ATP tournaments, by announcing a 7% increase in prize money for next month’s French Open.
That brings the total purse up to $24.6 million, with the winners running away with $1.64 million, an increase of nearly 5% over last year, but far less of a bump than some of the early losers will get.
While the first round losers would get just $19,700 in previous years, the added pot money distributed to the early casualties means that they will now receive up to $23,670, a 20% pay raise.
Now, this might be hard to take for those of you who have taken a pay cut, or lost your job in the wake of the current economic meltdown, but we have to accept that this is sport, and the players should count themselves very lucky indeed.
But, unfortunately, it seems that Andy Murray, rather than showing sympathy towards the rest of us, has the attitude of ‘it’s about time’, as he showered praise on the FFT by saying: "It's great that the French Open have stepped up.''
It really is incredible money, but no more than the modern day tennis player expects. In truth, the better players at the French Open will not even realise the slight increase, but it is good that the FFT have made sure that first round losers feel the benefit, to balance out the pay structure for the good of the game.