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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French Open Player Avoids Disqualification After Striking Fan With Ball

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Terence Atmane - photo by Ubitennis

Officials at the French Open opted not to default a player from his match after he hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan on the first day of the tournament. 

Terence Atmane, who received a wild card into this year’s draw, was involved in a tough five-set battle against Sebastian Ofner on Sunday evening. During the fourth set, Atmane found himself down 1-4, 30-30, when the incident unfolded. After hitting a shot that landed out, the Frenchman blasted a ball which unintentionally hit somebody in the crowd.

As a result of the incident, the match was halted for 15 minutes while the umpire and tournament referee addressed the situation, which included speaking to the person who got hit. Following the lengthy discussion, it was decided that Atmane would be issued with a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct but would not be disqualified. Prompting surprise from Ofner who went on to win the match 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 7-5.

“For me, it was a bit surprising, because if you do something like that on a small court, you have to be punished, you know?” The Associated Press quoted Ofner as saying after the match. “Because it’s not like you hit the ball normally. It was full power. The ball was so fast. Straight in the crowd. There were people disqualified for less.”

In the past players have been disqualified from a match for similar actions, including Novak Djokovic who was defaulted from his fourth round match at the 2020 US Open after hitting a lines judge with a ball. More recently, at last year’s French Open, doubles player Miyu Kato and her partner were defaulted after she accidentally but a ball girl. 

Ofner, who is currently ranked 45th in the world, says he was told that Atmane avoided a big punishment because the person the crowd was fine and ‘saw the ball coming.’ 

“The referee said, ‘Oh, yeah, I was talking with the lady. The lady said at the beginning it was hurting but now it’s fine, and everything was OK. She saw the ball coming. So it’s not enough for disqualification.’ I think if he would see how it was, maybe he would decide different,” he said. “A little bit more unlucky and it’s going directly in the face. And then something can happen (like) a broken nose or whatever.”

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has so far made no public comment on the matter.

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French Open: Stan Wawrinka Beats Murray In Battle Of Former Grand Slam Champions

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Stan Wawrinka - Parigi 2022 (foto Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Stan Wawrinka produced a solid display to beat long-time rival Andy Murray in what could be the Brit’s final appearance at the French Open.

Wawrinka, who won the Paris title back in 2015, rallied his way to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-1, win over former world No.1 Murray in what was the second-oldest match-up to take place at the tournament this century. At the age of 39, Wawrinka has become the oldest player to win a match in Paris since his compatriot Roger Federer did so three years ago. The Swiss No.1 hit 35 winners past his opponent in what was their 23rd meeting on the ATP Tour. 

“My first words were respect for a great champion,” Wawrinka said about the exchange the two had at the net afterwards. 
“I love watching him (Murray) play and fighting against him. We have had a lot of good fights in the last 15 years. A lot of emotion when we played here (at Roland Garros).”

Coming into the tournament, there have been questions raised about the current form of both players. Wawrinka had only won three matches in his four previous tournaments played and is yet to score consecutive wins this year. Meanwhile, Murray’s start to the clay swing was marred by an ankle injury and he has only played three matches on the clay this season before Paris. 

However, it was Wawrinka who managed to come out on top with the use of some of his signature backhand winners. Throughout the first two sets, he won 75% of his first service points without dropping serve and broke Murray once in each of those. 

Then at the start of the third frame, he pounced once again with yet another backhand winner to break as a lacklustered Murray continued to produce costly errors. Paving the way for Wawrinka to storm to a largely one-sided victory. He earned his first match point with a winner down the line before closing the clash out with an almost identical shot. 

“I love to work a lot in front of a crowd like this,” Wawrinka explained. 
“I’ve shared a lot of emotion with this crowd and they gave me a lot of energy to fight.
“In my head, I am still a young guy, I am still a kid. I just want to live this moment in front of this crowd.”

Murray’s loss occurs in what could be his last-ever French Open appearance. In recent months he has spoken about ending his career in 2024 but it yet to make a formal announcement. Should this be the case, he ends his Roland Garros career with a win-loss record of 39-12. His best run was to the final in 2016. 

This year is Wawrinka’s 19th appearance at Roland Garros and he is one of only two players in the Open Era to have won 11 five-set matches at the Grand Slam. The other to do so is Gael Monfils. It is the second time he has beaten Murray in the first round of the tournament after 2020. 

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French Open: Jack Draper Serves Up Trouble and is Upset by Dutch Qualifier De Jong

Brit Draper loses his longest ever tennis match in only his second five-setter of his career.

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Jack Draper crashed out at the first hurdle at the French Open after a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-3 loss to world number 176 Jesper de Jong – a qualifier who had come through three rounds to reach the main draw – who next faces third seed Carlos Alcaraz. 

In a titanic tussle lasting over four hours, the British number two could not find any rhythm on his serve, getting just 50% of his first deliveries in while winning only 51% of his second serves – resulting in him being broken an alarming nine times over the five sets.

“My serve has been a problem this year,” said Draper after the match. “I’m trying to change it to make it better, and obviously I’ve made those changes in the last few weeks. So, it’s not comfortable, especially in a grand slam playing in a fifth set on a second serve. You know, the confidence isn’t there at the moment on my serve, and it’s a problem I’m going to have to work on with coaches and see where I can make it more consistent because, yeah, it’s really letting me down.”

Dutchman De Jong took the opening two sets and was heading for a surprising routine victory before Draper showed some admirable fight to win the third on a tie-breaker before taking control of the fourth to push the match into a decider after a one-hour rain delay.

Draper, still only 22 with huge potential, still has time to understand how to navigate the fluctuations of long five setters and will be disappointed with the outcome of the fifth when he threw in yet another double-fault at 30-40 down in the seventh game to hand his opponent the initiative.  “I battled my way back, started playing a decent level. There was a lot of ebbs and flows in the match. That’s five-set tennis. I’m kind of learning that the more I play,” he added. 

Elsewhere in other results, sixth seed Andrey Rublev dropped a set in a tough battle against Japan’s Taro Daniel and next faces Spain’s Pedro Martinez, while eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz survived going two sets to one down before coming through easily in five against Shintaro Mochizuki from Japan. 

Bulgaria’s 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov recorded a routine win against American Aleksandar Kovacevic and French veteran, and wildcard Richard Gasquet was arguably more impressive in his straight sets win over Borna Coric of Croatia and potentially plays second seed Jannik Sinner next. 

However, in perhaps the biggest upset of the day, French number one and 17th seed Ugo Humbert lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in a match close to three hours and in front of home fans on Suzanne-Lenglen stadium court. 

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