The 10 Highest Prize Money Earners Of 2019 In Tennis - UBITENNIS
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The 10 Highest Prize Money Earners Of 2019 In Tennis

Ubitennis takes a close look at the biggest earners in the world of tennis this year.

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Six out of the seven highest earners on a tennis court this year has been on the men’s tour, according to data provided by the ATP Tour and WTA Tour.

 

Ubitennis has compared the prize money winners of both the men’s and women’s elite to get an overall picture of the divide between the sexes. The findings are based on the prize money players have earned from the start of this year until November 25th and doesn’t factor in any other financial incentives such as endorsements.

Whilst there has been equal prize money in every grand slam tournament since the 2007 Wimbledon Championships, Ash Barty is the only woman to make more than $7 million this year, compared to six on the men’s tour. The reason is due to a variety of factors. First of all, there has been a more even distribution of winners of the WTA Tour whilst their men’s equivalent is still dominated by the Big Three. Furthermore, the earnings available at tournaments throughout the season differ, making it hard to draw a conclusion to the divide.

“The ATP (the men’s tennis international governing body) and the WTA (the women’s international governing body) are two separate tours with distinct tournament structures, calendars, and funding models.” The website of the Citi Open outlines.
“Tournament like ours (ATP/WTA Washington) that offer both men’s and women’s tennis do not always combine events with the same tour tier levels. This results in the difference in prize money and international television coverage, which is among the considerations that dictate court schedules.’
“For example, the China Open features a WTA Premier mandatory event with an ATP World Tour 500-level event. The prize money, in this instance, is higher for the women’s event because of the difference in the tour tier levels.”

So who has won the most money and what was their most profitable tournament? Here is a list of the top prize money winners of 2019.

1. Rafael Nadal $16,349,586

As well as becoming the oldest year-end No.1 player in the Open Era on the ATP Tour, 33-year-old Nadal has also earned more than anybody. His four titles have been across two grand slams and two Masters 1000 events.

A closer look into Nadal’s earnings highlights how instrumental grand slams are in earnings. His triumphs at the French Open and the US Open equates to $6.15M alone or 37.6% of what he has earned this year. Which would get him inside the 2019 top 10 highest earners even if he didn’t win any money elsewhere.

It was at the US Open where he earned the most after leaving the tournament with an extra $3.85 million.

2. Novak Djokovic $13,277,228

Despite not winning the most grand slam titles or spending the most weeks as world No.1, Djokovic remains the highest earning tennis player of all time in terms of prize money. He is the only player to exceed the $130M mark and is on the verge of cracking $140M in 2020.

This year, the Serbian won five titles overall with two of those being at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. However, the earnings from those titles differ and explains why he is not ahead of Nadal, who won just one more match than him this season. For example the Japan Open trophy only rewarded him with $430,000.

3.Ash Barty $11,307,587

Australia’s Barty is the only female to feature in the top five after what has been a career-best season. Overall, she has won four titles. Including her maiden grand slam trophy at the French Open back in June.

The principle reason as to why Barty has fared so well in the list is due to the fact she won the WTA Finals, which had a record prize money pool. She exited the tournament with a ludicrous payment of $4,420,000 for playing five matches, including one she lost in the round-robin format. Amounting to almost 40% of her annual salary.

In comparison, Barty’s first grand slam triumph rewarded her with $2,649,464.

4.Roger Federer $8,716,975

2019 saw 20-time grand slam champion Federer return to the clay for the first time in four years. Whilst he didn’t win a trophy, it did enable him to claim almost an extra $900,000 for playing in three clay-court events.

The 38-year-old clinched a quartet of titles this year with Miami being the highest category event. However, it was at Wimbledon where he would make the most money. After losing to Djokovic in a five-set thriller in the title match, he left with just under $1.5M in earnings.

Federer earned $1M or more in two out of 14 events he played in this season. However, he remains the highest paid tennis player in the world due to his endorsements. Which Forbes Magazine estimates to be in the region of $86M.

5.Dominic Thiem $7,836,322

Besides Djokovic, 26-year-old Thiem is the only person this season to have won five titles on the ATP Tour. The most prestigious being in Indian Wells where he clinched his first ever Masters 1000 trophy. Which is where he won roughly one sixth of his earnings this season.

Another big earner for the Austrian was at the season-ending ATP Finals. Despite one round-robin loss before he finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, Thiem still managed to make $1.3M. Making it his second highest earning event of 2019.

Thiem, who is the highest-earning Austrian tennis player in history, participated in seven finals this season. So far in his career, he has made just over $22M in prize money.

6.Daniil Medvedev $7,833,320

Russia’s Medvedev can put his place in the top 10 down to a sensational run following the Wimbledon Championships. Within a three-month period he reached six consecutive finals on the tour. Making an impressive $5,307,420 which equates to 68% of his yearly earnings.

2019 has seen the 23-year-old achieved a series of firsts in his career. His first Masters title, first appearance in a grand slam final (US Open) and a debut at the ATP Finals. Unfortunately Medvedev failed to win a match in London. He has also recorded eight wins over top 10 players this year.

7.Stefanos Tsitsipas $7,272,204

Greek sensation Tsitsipas wouldn’t have cracked the top 10 list if he hadn’t of exceeded expectations at the ATP Finals. A Dramatic win over Thiem saw him win the biggest title of his career yet and raise hopes that he could be a contender at the grand slams next year. In London he won 36% of his 2019 prize money ($2,656,000).

Overall, Tsitsipas has participated in six finals and has won three titles. Also triumphing on clay in Estoril and on a hard court in Marseille. Furthermore, he also made 920,000 (Australian dollars) following his run to the Australian Open semi-finals.

8.Simona Halep $6,962,442

Halep’s clinical win over Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final wasn’t just a big confidence boost, it also did wonders to her bank balance. In fact, her payment of $3,041,463 was nearly half of what she has made this season (44%).

Wimbledon was the only tournament where the Romanian won silverware, but she did finish runner-up in both Doha and Madrid. Overall, Halep posted a win-loss record of 43-16 on the tour to finish in the year-end top five for the sixth time in a row.

9.Naomi Osaka $6,788,282

It has been a roller-coaster journey for Naomi Osaka. Who became the first Asian player in history to reach world No.1 whilst struggling to deal with a surge in media interest and a change of coach.

Nevertheless, the Japanese player managed to win the Australian Open, as well as tournaments in Osaka and Beijing. Earning a total of $4,715,214 in what amounts to 70% of her yearly earnings.

Should Osaka win $2.3 million or more in the future, she would overtake Li Na to become the most successful Asian tennis player of all time in terms of prize money won. Something the 22-year-old seem destined to do.

10.Bianca Andreescu $6,504,150

WTA breakout Bianca Andreescu is arguably the most impressive figure in the top 10. She started 2019 outside the top 100 and with career earnings amounting to less than $200,000.

This all changed thanks to her meteoric rise in the sport. Her triumphs include winning titles in Indian Wells, the Rogers Cup and the US Open. To put that into perspective, the trio rewarded the Canadian with 88% of her yearly earnings.

It is also important to note that due to injury, Andreescu at one stage only managed to play in one tournament over a four-month period.

Note: figures are in US dollars unless otherwise stated

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EXCLUSIVE: Daniil Medvedev On His Saudi Arabian Debut, No.1 Dreams And Russia’s Olympic Ban

The US Open finalist sat down with Ubitennis earlier this week.

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Within the past 12 months Daniil Medvedev has gone from a promising future prospect to one of the top players in the world of men’s tennis.

 

Up until June this year the 23-year-old was yet to crack the top 10, win a Masters title or reach the second week of a grand slam event. Then shortly after the conclusion of the Wimbledon championships, Medvedev enjoyed an emphatic period of success to achieve all three of those milestones. Within a three-month period he reached six consecutive finals at tournaments ranging from ATP 250 level to a grand slam. Enabling him to peak at a high of fourth in the world back in September.

Unfortunately for Medvedev, his surge came at price towards the end of his season. Losing in the first round of the Paris Masters and then all three of his matches in his ATP Finals debut. Something he blames on mental tiredness.

Not to be disheartened by the loss, the Russian is back on the court this week. He is one of eight players participating in the brand new Diriyah Tennis Cup. An exhibition tournament in Saudi Arabia, which has on offer $1 million for the champion.

“I do think in the middle of a pre-season a tournament like this is good. You can’t just practice for four weeks without knowing how your game is at the moment. Last year I also participated in one in France (Open de Caen).” Medvedev told Ubitennis.com about his decision to play.
“This is how we (my team) decided to do the preparation this year and are going to see how it works out.”

Kicking off his campaign on Thursday against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, Medvedev enjoyed an emphatic start. Disposing of his rival 6-3, 6-1, in less than an hour. Whilst the prize money is undoubtedly an appeal for all of those taking part, the Russian sees this week as a golden opportunity to evaluate his game.

“It is going to be important to see how my game is right now in the middle of the pre-season. To see what I need to improve more, what I need to work more on with my team.” He explained.
“Obviously after my last season, I have a lot of big expectations for 2020, but first of all I need to stay lucid and take it all match-by-match.”

Future dreams

Medvedev and Gael Monfils – Diriyah Tennis Cup (via Twitter, @DiriyahCup)

Given his recent breakthrough, Medvedev is being mentioned as a potential candidate to one day claim the world No.1 position. Since 2004 only four players have managed to hold the honour – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. To add to the pressure, former player Marat Safin has backed his compatriot to achieve the milestone in the future. Safin will be the captain of the Russian team in the ATP Cup, which Medvedev is participating in.

“I believe he can be number one in the world.” Safin told Russian media earlier this week. “His all-around game… we just need to work on certain small things.”

Despite the backing, Medvedev is staying grounded about the prospect. Insisting that he isn’t ‘obsessed’ with the world No.1 ranking. At present, he is more than 4000 points adrift from Nadal in the ATP standings.

“I have been thinking about it (the No.1 spot) since I was six-years-old, but the thing is that I’m not obsessed with it,” said Medvedev. “For example, if I was 40 and during my career, I achieved a best ranking of number two in the world, It would not change my life completely.’
“Of course working hard and playing so many tournaments you want to achieve the best ranking possible.” He added.

With his eyes on the grand slams next year, 2020 also gives Medvedev the chance to make his Olympic debut. However, it isn’t as simple as that. Earlier this week the Russian sporting federation was banned from major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) due to various violations. An investigation found that the Russian Anti-doping agency (RUSDA) deliberately tampered with athletes samples to hide positive tests.

The ITF notes that Russian tennis has never been linked to the controversy, however, players such as Medvedev will be under sanction. Unless the ban is overturned, they are only allowed to play at the event as neutral athletes.

“To be honest as a tennis player it is a little bit tough to talk about these things because I live in Monaco and we get tested in every country around the world. From 20 to 30 doping tests.” Medvedev states.
“I know what happened, but I don’t know how to react to it because I’m not in this (the Russian) federation.”

Asked if he will still play in the Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Medvedev cautiously replied ‘I think so.’ Although he is far from certain in doing so.

“Looking at this decision, it’s disappointing that me as a Russian player, who hasn’t nothing to do with this, will have to play without a flag. It is a little bit strange for me. I don’t know why this decision was made exactly so I don’t know if it was the right decision.” He concluded.

Medvedev ended 2019 with 59 wins on the ATP Tour. More than any other player this year.

Interview conducted by Alessandro Stella in Saudi Arabia

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Andy Murray Suffers Off-Season Setback

Preparations for the new year has hit a blip for the injury-stricken player.

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Former world No.1 Andy Murray has suffered a blip in his preparations for next month’s Australian Open due to an ongoing injury issue.

 

Multiple sources have confirmed that the three-time Grand Slam champion has been forced to pull the plug on his training block in Miami due to a groin injury he picked up during the Davis Cup Finals. Murray was set to spend two weeks in the city, where he owns a second house, alongside his team to prepare for the start of the new season. Initially, it was reported that the groin issue was just a minor setback in November. However, it is continuing to bother Murray.

“I had a bit of an issue with my groin, pelvis. I wanted to play but I wasn’t allowed to risk it.” He said on November 25th at The Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
“It was more like a bony bruise. It’s mild. But that was something which if I had played on it, it could have got worse. And that’s why it was difficult for me.” He added.

It is the latest injury woe for Murray after what has been a roller-coaster 2019 season. Back in January he contemplated retiring from the sport due to as persistent hip injury. However, his career was given a lifeline after he underwent hip resurfacing surgery shortly after. Returning back to the tour in June, he gradually found his footing on the court once again. His major breakthrough occurred at the European Open when he defeated Stan Wawrinka to win his first singles title of any sort since 2017.

“Asia was basically where I started to realise I can do this because at the beginning of that trip, literally two or three days before the first tournament in Asia, I was having conversations with my team.” Murray commented about his resurgence.
“I was practising and I was like ‘no, I am giving this until the end of the year and if I’m not winning matches and feeling better than I am now, I don’t want to keep going.’
“I was putting a lot of effort in but my movement wasn’t at the right level, but as I started to play quite a few matches it changed quite quickly and I thought I was a lot further away than I was and that was what a lot of guys in the team were saying to me.”

This season the 32-year-old has achieved an overall win-loss record of 11-7 on the tour. Besides his Antwerp title, he also reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. It was in China, where he recorded his highest-profile win in terms of ranking. Defeating world No.13 Matteo Berrettini.

Currently ranked 126th in the world, Murray remains on course with his plans for the new year. He will start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia, where he will be working alongside captain Tim Henman. Who he personally nominated for the position.

It is touch and go to see if Murray will gain direct entry into the Australian Open main draw due to his current ranking. However, the five-time finalist is a strong contender to receive a wildcard.

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An Idiots Guide To Saudi Arabia’s Extravagant Diriyah Tennis Cup

Here is everything you need to know about the newest event in the world of tennis.

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Today marks the birth of a brand new off-season event taking place in the Middle East.

 

The Diriyah Tennis Cup is the first ever international tennis competition to be hosted in oil-rich Saudi Arabia. A total of eight players on the men’s tour will feature in the multi-million dollar tournament, which has a prize money pool of $3M. It is part of the country’s drive to establish themselves as a sporting powerhouse in the world. Just last week Saudi Arabia hosted Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight fight against Andy Ruiz.

“The Diriyah Tennis Cup can inspire new players and new fans in Saudi — male, female, old or young. Our goal is to have our people engaged in tennis, inspired by tennis, taking part in tennis and connected as a nation by the sport.” Said Prince Abdul Aziz.

Whilst there is hype surrounding tennis’ latest event, just over a year ago Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was heavily criticised for planning to play an exhibition match there before cancelling it. At the time the country was implicated in the killing of a prominent journalist in one of its own embassies. Prompting widespread condemnation. Saudi Arabia have also been criticised for their poor human rights record.

Here is everything you need to know about the tournament.

Where it is being played?

Diriyah is where the tennis stars will grace their presence. It is a town located to the north west of the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The newly built Diriyah Arena, which is where the tournament takes place, has a footprint of 10,000 square meters. It took only two months to build and holds a capacity of up to 15,000. It is the same venue where Joshua’s ‘clash of the dunes’ boxing match took place last weekend.

Who is taking part?

For a brand new tournament, organisers have done exceptionally well to attract top names to the venue. The only former grand slam champion to take part is Stan Wawrinka. However, he isn’t the highest ranked player in the field. That honour belongs to world No.5 Daniil Medvedev, who enjoyed a meteoric rise during the second half of this year. Other top 20 players include David Goffin, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils. The full list of entrants are the following :-

  • Daniil Medvedev RUS (WR 5)
  • Gael Monfils FRA (WR 10)
  • David Goffin BEL (WR 11)
  • Fabio Fognini ITA (WR 12)
  • Stan Wawrinka SWI (WR 16)
  • John Isner USA (WR 19)
  • Lucas Pouille FRA (WR 22)
  • Jan-Lennard Struff GER (WR 35)

What is the prize money and format?

The ability to attract a world-class field was substantially enhanced by the generous prize money that is available for those taking part. The winner exits with a payment of $1 million. To put that into perspective, Nick Kyrgios earned $384,120 for winning the Citi Open in Washington. An ATP 500 event. Even the quarter-finalist starts on $125,000.

BREAKDOWN
Quarter-finalist $125,000
Semifinalist: $250,000
Finalist: $500,000
Winner: $1,000,000

Final Consultation round: $100,000
Winner: $200,000

The structure of the tournament is similar to that of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which started back in 2009. Held over three days, the knockout tournament will begin from the quarter-finals onwards. Consolation rounds (players who lost their previous matches) will also be taking place.

The order of play

Fognini’s clash with Isner will be the first ever match to be played at the event on Thursday. All four quarter-final matches will be played on the first day, followed by the semi-finals and final. On day two and three the consolation matches will be played.

Day 1 schedule

CENTER COURT start 04:00 pm local time
F. Fognini (ITA) vs J. Isner (USA)
G. Monfils (FRA) vs S. Wawrinka (SUI)
Not Before 8:00 pm
D. Medvedev (RUS) vs J. Struff (GER)
D. Goffin (BEL) vs L. Pouille (FRA

Why is a separate exhibition match taking place?

In a bid to showcase national talent, an exhibition match will take place on the last day of the competition. It will feature little-known player Ammar Al-Haqbani. The son of American-based diplomat Faleh Haqbani and a regular member of his country’s Davis Cup team.

“The Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Saudi Aramco will have a significant impact on tennis in Saudi, especially for local tennis lovers and young talents who want to be professionals.” Al-Haqbani told arabnews.com.
“Watching closely as these big names compete at the Diriyah Arena will be a huge inspiration for them to work more and build their professional path in order to compete on the global stage in the future.”

His opponent will be former top 100 player Michael Mmoh, who was born in Saudi Arabia. His father was a part-time coach for the country’s Davis Cup team and his mother worked as a nurse. He moved to America at the age of 13.

“Having some of the best players in the world coming to the Kingdom can really inspire new fans to pick up a racquet and get on a court for the first time and play this great game.” Said Mmoh.

The exhibition match will be the first to be played on Saturday.

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