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

ATP

Injured Alcaraz Pulls Out of Rio Open After Two Games

A sprained ankle a couple of minutes into his debut at the Rio Open forced top seed Carlos Alcaraz to abandon his match against Thiago Monteiro

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Carlos Alcaraz after the injury - Rio 2024 (photo Tennis TV)

For world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, this year’s Rio Open lasted two games: the Spanish champion had to retire on the score of 1-1 in the first set during his first-round match against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the second point of the match.

In an accident somewhat reminiscent of the terrible one suffered by Zverev in the semi-final of Roland Garros 2022, Alcaraz’s right foot “got stuck”  in the clay as he returned towards the center of the court after returning from the left, and he immediately flew to the ground dropping his racket. The Spaniard immediately asked for a medical time-out, but as soon as he took off his shoe it was immediately clear that his ankle had already swollen.

After having a tight bandage applied, Alcaraz tried to continue the match, but just two games later he understood that it was not possible to continue so he shook hands with his opponent, abandoning the Brazilian tournament.

The match was played on a very heavy court due to the rain that had fallen heavily during the day. The organizers had been forced to cancel the daytime session and play could only begin around 7.30 pm local time, after the courts had remained under pouring water all day.

Alcaraz told the press present in Rio: “I think these things happen, especially on clay. It wasn’t a problem with the court, I hurt myself in a change of direction and this happens on this type of surface. I went back into the match to see if I could continue or not. I spoke to the physiotherapist on the court and we decided, together, that I would continue to see if the ankle would improve. It didn’t happen, so we preferred to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.”

Considering that Alcaraz left the court on his own two feet and managed to wobble through a couple of games after the injury, it is quite likely that the injury he suffered is much less serious than the one that kept Alexander Zverev away from tournaments for over seven months. However, it will be necessary to verify whether it is just a sprain or whether tendons or ligaments have been involved. If this were to be the case, the prognosis could turn out to be longer, and this is happening less than two weeks before the start of the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Spaniard is scheduled to play an exhibition in Las Vegas on 3rd March against Rafael Nadal: it will be decided in the next few days whether to withdraw as a precaution for the first Masters 1000 of the season in Indian Wells.

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Can Jannik Sinner dodge the morning-after syndrome?

Very few players have managed to follow up their first triumph in a Major. Hewitt is the last new Grand Slam champion to immediately win an ATP title. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all misfired, can Jannik Sinner do better?

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Jannik Sinner - Australian Open 2024 (photo: X @federtennis)

By Roman Bongiorno

“The morning-after syndrome,” as they call it. The list of great champions who have suffered from it – Carlos Alcaraz, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, is impressive.  Some of the most illustrious names in our sport, the most successful ever. Yet, even for those who are legends, the match immediately after their first Grand Slam triumph is often an insurmountable hurdle.

The very young Spanish phenomenon, born in 2003, was the latest striking example. After winning the 2022 US Open and becoming the new world No. 1, Alcaraz managed to win just one set in his next two matches: he lost 6-7 6-4 6-2 in the Davis Cup against Felix Auger Aliassime, who was definitely on fire in that period, and was inflicted a 7-5 6-3 defeat by veteran David Goffin in his first match at the ATP 500 in Astana.

Mentally, it’ not easy. The most important triumph of one’s life, immediately to be put aside.  And go back to work. The media are quick to pounce on any slip, headlines hinting at signs of a career already over: “it’s gone to his head”, “he has made his money” etc.

Less than a year later, Carlos Alcaraz was once more a Grand Slam champion, beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.

Just think of tennis legends such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who fell victims to this serious syndrome. The former, after his triumph at Roland Garros 2005, stepped back on court on the green grass of Halle, losing in 3 sets to the world number 147 German Alexander Waske: 4-6 7-5 6-3. For many, that was a disastrous defeat foreshadowing a future that would not be as bright as it had seemed. Rafa told another story, by winning another 21 Grand Slam titles, on every surface.

The Serbian, on the other hand, thrived on the hard courts of Melbourne, just like Jannik Sinner. In 2008, after winning the title, he was engaged in Davis Cup against Russia. He did not finish his rubber against Nikolay Davydenko and retired at the beginning of the fourth set while trailing 2 sets to 1. In his first ATP tour appearance, in Marseille, after brushing aside Ivan Dodig, he was ousted in three sets by Gilles Simon. Over the following 15 years Novak Djokovic went on to become the has become the most successful player ever.

What about Roger Federer? After lifting the trophy won at Wimbledon in 2003, he moved to the home clay of Gstaad.  He survived the morning-after syndrome  after a fierce but victorious struggle in the first round with the Spaniard Marc Lopez, ranked No.190. Then he cruised till the final, but was defeated in a five set hustle 5-7 6-3 6-3 1-6 6-3 by Jiri Novak.

The morning-after did not spare Juan Martin del Potro. After his stunning victory over Federer at the 2009 US Open, he set foot on an ATP tennis court three weeks later in Tokyo. It was Edouard Roger Vassellin, 189th in the world, who spoiled the party, neatly defeating the Argentinian in two sets, 64 64.

Even “Ice man” Bjorn Borg, the man without (apparent) emotions, focused only on tennis and winning, lost the first match after his success at Roland Garros 1974. He was defeated in the first round in Nottingham by world No. 71 Milan Holecek from Czechoslovakia. Over the next years he definitely made up for that impasse on English lawns.

A rare bird at last, and not by chance does it come from Australia, a land which is ever so rich in unique species. Lleyton Hewitt, who in 2001 after steamrolling Pete Sampras in the US Open final, immediately won his next matches, two singles rubbers in the Davis Cup against Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, and then went on to win in Tokyo by beating Michel Kratochvil in the final.

Jannik Sinner has been building up his success on gruelling feats. Sure he’s eager to be back on the Dutch indoor courts of Rotterdam where he enjoyed a brilliant run last year, only surrendering to Danil Medvedev in the final. Just one year ago the Russian seemed an impossible opponent to defeat. Now, in the last 4 challenges, Jannik has beaten him 4 times. The last one, in the final of the Australian Open.

Rotterdam could have been the stage for a rematch, but Medvedev has pulled out of the tournament. Jannik Sinner appears as a favourite, and is vying to close in on that third place of the rankings currently held by Daniil.

Jannik has set out on his mission. But even if he were to be defeated in the first round by an opponent ranked beyond the top 200, no one should dare cry failure. Italy at last has a Grand Slam winner, and he is not to be downplay him in case of first defeats.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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Matteo Berrettini Looks To Draw Inspiration From Jannik Sinner

Matteo Berrettini is looking to draw inspiration from Jannik Sinner ahead of his comeback to the ATP tour.

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(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Matteo Berrettini is looking to draw inspiration from Jannik Sinner as Berrettini is continuing his recovery from his injury.

The former Wimbledon finalist has had a horrible run of injuries which has seen the Italian fall down the rankings as he is now at 124 in the world.

After suffering a horrible injury at the US Open during his match with Arthur Rinderknech, Berrettini was looking to make his return at the Australian Open as he was set to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round.

However just before the match, Berrettini withdrew as he decided to delay his comeback to the tour as he will aim to return to the court as soon as possible.

If Berrettini needed any inspiration then Jannik Sinner’s triumph at the Australian Open could be that much needed spark as the Italian beat Novak Djokovic on his way to capturing a first Grand Slam title.

Speaking an interview Berrettini explained that he is still not 100% and admits he is looking to draw inspiration from Sinner’s form, “I’m better, but I’m not yet 100%,” Berrettini was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

“The goal is to play the whole season, and without these setbacks which are destroying my body and my head. Sinner did a miracle. I will also use this energy for my tennis. I was happy with what Jannik said.

“We have a good relationship, which has strengthened in recent months. We are different but similar. We are pursuing the same dream.”

Berrettini will hope Sinner’s success will have a positive influence on his recovery and quicken his return to the tour as the former world number six aims for a successful return to the tour.

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