Five Facts To Show How Absurd Ash Barty’s WTA Finals Prize Money Earnings Is - UBITENNIS
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Five Facts To Show How Absurd Ash Barty’s WTA Finals Prize Money Earnings Is

Here is why Barty’s win in Shenzhen is so significant for the world of sport.

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Ashleigh Barty - WTA Finals Shenzhen 2019 (foto via Twitter, @WTAFinals)

Ash Barty isn’t just the queen of the 2019 WTA Finals. She is a very rich queen of the end-of-season extravaganza.

 

On Sunday the world No.1 became the first Australian player to win the tournament since 1976. Disposing of last year’s champion, Elina Svitolina, in straight sets. This season marks the start of a 10-year deal, where the tournament will be held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Under the agreement, a record prize money pool was implemented. Barty, who won four out of five matches played over the week, has earned $4,420,000. According to data provided by SAP Sports, she spent a total of eight hours and 52 minutes on the court throughout the championships. Meaning that for every hour played in China, she earned an estimated $490,000.

“It’s been an incredible season. Money aside, it kind of means nothing to me. I know I have the love and the support of my family.” Barty said in her press conference.
“I try and work hard every single day to chase my dreams. Regardless of how many zeros is sitting in my bank account, it doesn’t change the way I live my life, who I am and how I live as a person.’
“I think even though it’s incredible, we’re breaking records this week in particular, putting tennis on the map, putting WTA tennis on the map. I feel like we’ve earned that right to be recognized more as a global sport. For me, it doesn’t change a thing regardless of what is sitting in the bank account.”

Despite winning the biggest prize money payment from a tournament in the history of the sport, Barty isn’t showing any signs of going on a massive spending spree. Joking that she is ‘boring’ when it comes to spending cash.

“I’m pretty boring. I don’t really spend a lot on myself.” She said.
“I obviously like to spoil my family. I’m in a position where I can spoil my niece and nephew. But I’m certainly not one that lives an extravagant lifestyle. I’m pretty happy in my little house at home. I’ve got everything that I need.”

Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be underestimated just how surreal Barty’s $4.42M payment is.

Here are five things to know about Barty’s prize money goldmine.

1. It equates almost 30% of her career earnings

As of October 21st, 2019, Barty’s career prize money stood at $12,095,667. As a result of her latest triumph, her tally rises to $16,515,667. This means that 26.7% of her prize money earnings are from her triumph at the WTA Finals. As for Barty’s earnings in 2019 alone, Shenzhen accounts for 61% of it ($4,420,000 out of $11,307, 587).

2. It is more than any grand slam winner has ever earned

This year saw prize money increases at every grand slam tournament. However, the singles champions of any of those four majors (male or female) still didn’t claim as much as Barty did. The closest was the US Open, but it was still over $500,000 less than Barty’s payment.

Prize money awarded to the singles champions of the 2019 grand slams

  • Australian Open: 2.9M (CNBC)
  • French Open 2.62 M (Bleacher report)
  • Wimbledon 3.06M (CNN)
  • US Open 3.85M (official site)

NOTE: based on American dollars

3. Almost one in three top 30 players on the WTA Tour has earned less in their entire careers

Incredibly, if world No.1 never played an entire professional tournament except Shenzhen this year, her career prize money of $4.42M would still be more than nine players currently ranked in the top 30. Below is the list of players who has made less than that amount (as of 21 October 2019).

  • (No.12) Sofia Kenin USA $2,616,692
  • (No.16) Marketa Vondrousova CZE $3,055,580
  • (No.20) Donna Vekic CRO $4,000,896
  • (No.21) Amanda Anisimova USA $1,560,150
  • (No.22) Maria Sakkari GRE $2,709,584
  • (No.24) Dayana Yastremska UKR $1,499,077
  • (No.26) Karolina Muchova CZE $1,194,382
  • (No.29) Wang Qiang CHN $4,350,109*Ranking as of 3/11/19

4. Other sports are in admiration

Earlier this year Egan Bernal became the first Latin American to win the Tour de France. A 21-stage cycling race that is more than 2000 miles long. However, Bernal won an estimated $557,000. Working out at just over one eighth of what Barty earned. Cycling isn’t the only sport to be outdone by the WTA Tour :-

  • Winner of The 2019 Masters (golf) – $2,070,000
  • Winner of the 2019 Cricket World Cup – $4,000,000
  • Winner of the 2019 Tour de France – $557,000 (estimate based on 500,000 euros)
  • 2019 World snooker champion – $646,800 (estimate conversion rate of £500,000)
  • An individual gold medallist at the 2019 IAAF World Championships (athletics) – $80,000

5. Barty has earned more than the three most recent Masters 1000 winners combined

On Sunday Novak Djokovic won the final Masters tournament of the year in Paris. Defeating Denis Shapovalov in straight sets. Prior to him, Daniil Medvedev triumphed in Cincinnati and Shanghai. Both of which are in the same tournament category as Paris. Yet, on financial terms, it has nothing of Barty.

Cincinnati Champion – Medvedev (won $1,114,225)
Shanghai champion – Medvedev (won $1,374,995)
Paris Champion – Djokovic (won $1,111,969)*
TOTAL = $3,601,189 ($818,811 less than Barty)

*Estimate conversion of 995,720 euros.

NOTE: Figures used in article is American dollars based on media sources and conversion rates

 

ATP

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus secure their spot in the semifinal in the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus beat Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3 6-4 in the evening’s double match securing their spot in the semifinal with a record of 2-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

Klaasen earned an early break with a forehand volley to open up a 3-1 lead. Venus and Klaasen dropped just four points on serve and did not face a break point. Venus held serve at 5-3 to close out the opening set 6-3 after 32 minutes.

Both teams held serve until the ninth game, when Venus got the first break at 4-4 with a half-volley winner, when Melo was serving on a deciding point. Kubot and Melo fended off two match points in the next game to force a deciding point and got their first break point of the match.

Venus sealed the win after 71 minutes with a big serve on their third match point in the 10th game. Klaasen and Venus won 86 % of their serve points.

US players Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury scored their first win in the Group Jonas Bjorkman at the Nitto ATP Finals, when they beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 3-6 6-3 10-6 in the Match Tie-Break. The US team improved their ranking to 1-1.

Dodig and Polasek earned the first break in the fourth game of the opening set to open up a 3-1 lead. They saved four consecutive break points in the ninth game, when they were serving for the first set at 5-3. Dodig and Polasek sealed the first set with a service winner after 33 minutes.

Ram and Salisbury did not convert break points in the most crucial moments of the first set. Ram and Salisbury earned their only break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face a single break point to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Ram and Salisbury opened up a 3-0 lead with an early mini-break in the Match tie-break. Dodig and Polasek rallied to draw level to 5-5. Ram and Salisbury sealed the win on the first match point, when Polasek hit a backhand volley into the net at 9-6.

Dodig and Polasek, who won two titles in Cincinnati and Beijing, lost to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 10-5 in the Match Tie-Break in last Saturday’s first match.

 

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Dominika Cibulkova announces her retirement from tennis

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Dominika Cibulkova has announced her retirement from professional tennis at an event in her home town of Bratislava. The 30-year-old Slovakian player won eight titles on hard-court, grass, and indoor surfaces and achieved her career-high of world number 4 on 20th March 2017.

 

Cibulkova reached the semifinal at the 2009 Roland Garros, three quarter-finals at Wimbledon (i2011, 2016 and 2018) and the quarter-final at the US Open in 2010. She became the first Slovakian player to reach a Grand Slam final when she finished runner-up to Li Na at the 2014 Australian Open. She achieved the best result of her career in October 2016, when she beat former world number 1 Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals in Singapore to clinch the Billie Jean King Trophy. That year Dominika won three more titles at Katowice, Eastbourne, and Linz. She also finished runner-up in Acapulco, Madrid, and Wuhan.

“It wasn’t just winning the WTA Finals, but also the road to qualifying, which was really hard. I had to win in Linz just to make it there. While winning Singapore was the biggest moment of my career and life, winning Linz and the way I had to fight to get there, the fact that I was able to do it and belong among the best players in the world”, said Cibulkova in an interview to the WTA Website.

Cibulkova also won four more titles in Moscow 2011, Carlsbad 2012, Stanford 2013 and Acapulco 2014.

She represented the Slovak Republic at two editions of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has scored a record of 22 wins and 11 defeats in her Fed Cup appearances.

Cibulkova decided Roland Garros would be the final tournament of her career.

“It wasn’t a decision where I woke up and thought: “I don’t want to play anymore”. It was a long process. I was already convinced by the time I played Azarenka in Miami, that this could be my last match. It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament. At that point, I was 100 percent sure. I was not doubting or thinking: maybe yes or no. I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament. I went home and I was happy with my decision. It’s really hard to make it, but once you do, you more free. I feel like this life has been fulfilled for me, and I want to start a new one. I was already feeling like the tennis life is really tough, with all the traveling and training, giving 100 % every day. I started to get tired of it. In the end, I gave enough and achieved things I never dreamed of reaching in my career ”, said Cibulkova.

 

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ATP

ATP Finals 2019 Day 2 Preview: Rafael Nadal Begins Hunt For Elusive Title

Rafael Nadal competes to win this event for the first time, as well as secure the year-end No.1 ranking.

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It was just one week ago that Nadal regained the No.1 ranking from Novak Djokovic for the first time since 2018.  But with only a 640-point lead over Novak in the year-end race, he’ll likely need at least a few wins this week to still be holding that crown seven days from now.  Djokovic is certainly favored to reach the semifinals, and each round robin match win is worth 200 points, with a semifinal win worth 400 and a final win worth 500. Rafa is joined in the Andre Agassi Group by three players who are 23-years-old or younger.  Two of those players are making their ATP Finals debuts, while the other is the defending champion.

 

Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (6)

These are the two debuting players in the Andre Agassi Group, and they aren’t exactly best friends.  Their first match was last year in Miami, when Medvedev had some heated comments for Tsitsipas after a testy match which consisted of a few extended toilet breaks and a let cord Tsitsipas winner for which Daniil said he received no apology.  But Medvedev has completely owned this rivalry, with a 5-0 record. Although, all their matches have been tight, with Tsitsipas claiming a set in four of the five. Since the end of the grass court season, Medvedev has been the best player in the world.  From July to October, he reached six straight hard court tournament finals, with three titles. During that 11-week span, he went 29-3. He leads the tour this season with 59 match wins. But all that tennis has taken a toll on Daniil, as he withdrew from his home tournament in Moscow due to exhaustion, and lost his opening round in Paris to Jeremy Chardy.  Tsitsipas had a great first half of the year, highlighted by reaching his first Major semifinal in Australia and winning two titles. But the second half wasn’t as impressive, with losses in the first round of both Wimbledon and the US Open. However, he’s improved his form since the Laver Cup, having not lost to a player outside the top 5 since that event. Stefanos will be hoping to catch Medvedev at less than his best today considering their head-to-head, though I expect Medvedev to be refreshed after playing only one match in the past month.  And he’ll surely be motivated in his ATP Finals debut against a player he’s clashed with in the past. Daniil should be favored to be victorious on Monday afternoon.

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Sascha Zverev (7)

After pulling out of Paris just over a week ago with an abdominal injury he suffered during practice, Nadal’s participation at this tournament was in question, which has been a theme over the years.  This is Rafa’s 15th consecutive year qualifying for this tournament, yet this is only his ninth time playing.  The good news is if he’s healthy enough to play all three of his round robin matches this week, he won’t need to face Djokovic or Federer, as they were drawn in the other round robin group.  And just like Monday’s other singles matchup, this is a rivalry where one player owns a 5-0 record. Fortunately for Nadal, that head-to-head against Zverev is in his favor. Their first match was at Indian Wells in 2016, when Zverev had an easy volley on match point, but hit it into the net.  He wouldn’t win another game in that match, and still hasn’t gotten a win over Nadal. And though he was the champion here a year ago, 2019 has been a challenging year for Sascha. He’s experienced turmoil off the court within his team, and has failed to take his career to the next level. If Rafa is close to 100%, that should be enough to overcome a defending champion who is lacking confidence.

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