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Wimbledon announced record prize money on Thursday© AFP

Wimbledon announced record prize money on Thursday for this year’s edition of tennis’ oldest Grand Slam tournament, with the two singles champions taking home 2 million pounds (USD 2.5 million, 2.3 million euros) each.

The total prize money of 40.35 million pounds represents an 11.1 percent increase on last year’s Championships, where capacity at the southwest London venue was reduced for Covid reasons.

It is also 5.4 percent more than was on offer to competitors during the last ‘regular’ edition of Wimbledon in 2019.

There had been speculation that the removal of ranking points by the ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) tours, following Wimbledon’s controversial decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, could lead to a reduced prize fund.

But with capacity crowds expected and scheduled play on the middle Sunday for the first time, organisers have boosted the overall total.

Players beaten in the first round of the singles will still collect 50,000 pounds while the runners-up in the finals will each take home more than 1 million pounds.

Former world number one Naomi Osaka has threatened to withdraw from this year’s Wimbledon over the decision to strip the tournament of ranking points but has still to confirm if she will indeed miss the last of tennis’ four majors still played on grass.

Ian Hewitt, chairman of Wimbledon organisers the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), said: “From the first round of the qualifying competition to the champions being crowned, this year’s prize money distribution aims to reflect just how important the players are to The Championships as we look to continue to deliver one of the world’s leading sporting events.”

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This year’s Wimbledon starts on June 27, with Novak Djokovic set to defend his men’s singles title but no reigning women’s champion taking part after Australia’s Ashleigh Barty retired in March.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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