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
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
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