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
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo.
Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.
Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown.
Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead.
Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2.
Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4.
Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.
“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117 Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5.
Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2.
Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.
Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco.
Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point.
Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance.
“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi.
Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open.
The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai.
Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006.
“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital.
The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October).
“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi.
During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.
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