The French Open men's and women's champions will each earn $2.25 million for their efforts, a 10 percent increase over last year's championship earnings. But even the finalists will be coming away with a cool $1.1 million to help ease their suffering.
Freelance tennis writer Bobby Chintapalli explains what the increase means for 2014 women's champion Sharapova:
The biggest payout increase in 2014 will benefit the round of 16 losers, who will receive 25 percent more than they would have in 2013.
Meanwhile, first-round losers will receive $32,000 just for showing up. That's an increase of 14 percent from last year.
Here's how it all breaks down, according to the tournament's official website:
|2014 French Open Prize Money—Singles|
|Result||Per Player||% increase from 2013|
|Round of 16||$170,575||25.0|
In an April press release confirming the prize money increase for 2014, tournament director Gilbert Ysern explained the main reason for the change, per RolandGarros.com:
"This significant raise in the prize money at Roland Garros is part of the four-year plan which we established for 2013–2016. It is specifically designed to benefit players who are knocked out in the first week."
As already mentioned, round of 16 losers benefit the most from 2014's increase, but second- and third-round losers are also the big winners, receiving a 20 percent prize money increase this summer.
Among the second week competitors, quarterfinal losers received the biggest boost in earnings, a nearly 16 percent increase.
Although it's hard to imagine French Open competitors coming away with any more money than they already are, it's likely that the French Open purse will only increase in the years to come. With the sport's biggest names competing for the its top prizes and sponsors looking to get involved, there'll be no shortage of interest or capital available to tournament organizers.
While the four Grand Slams will always draw significant money and eyeballs, the challenge for the sport will be generating larger purses at the lower tier events where players often struggle to earn enough to keep their career going.
So while first-round losers at the French Open will continue to earn a hefty amount of cash, the players that don't qualify for the main draw at Roland Garros and the other three majors will likely continue to slip through the cracks.
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