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Tennis News • Wimbledon Raises 2018 Prize Money • And New Roof On Court One

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Marin Cilic of Croatia during the Men’s final match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 16 July 2017. EPA/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

 

 

Wimbledon will be even greener this year.

 

The All England Club celebrates its 150th anniversary giving champions a raise.

 

The Championships will award about $46 million in prize money this year, a 7.6 percent increase from the $43 million in prize money it paid out last year.

 

Singles champions will collect about $3 million apiece. The All Club said it has nearly tripled prize money over the past decade, though Wimbledon will still trail the US Open and Roland Garros in total prize money.

 

The Championships will be contested July 2nd-15th.

 

Wimbledon will feature rule changes this summer.

 

*The time between points will be extended from 20 to 25 seconds, which will be enforced by the chair umpire rather than a shot clock on court as the US Open will use.

 

*Pre-match warm-up times “will be strictly enforced”:one minute after walk-on to be ready for the pre-match coin toss at net, followed by the five-minute warm-up, then one minute to be ready to start the match.

 

*Any main draw singles player who is unfit to play and withdraws on-site after noon on the Thursday before the start of main-draw play will now receive 50 percent of the first-round prize money. The replacement lucky loser will receive the remaining 50 percent, plus any additional prize money earned in subsequent rounds.

 

*Any player who competes in the first-round main draw singles and retires or performs below professional standards, may now be subject to a fine of up to first round prize money in 2018.

 

The Club announced it “remains strongly opposed to the introduction of any form of sanctioned coaching, whether it be on-court or from the stands.” The US Open allowed coaching from the stands during qualifying in 2017.

 

The All England Club also announced enhancements to the grounds:

 

*Work has been completed on the new fixed roof over No. 1 Court.

 

*2018 will see the opening of “The Walled Garden”—a new two-level public plaza, which was formerly Court 19.

 

*A new, larger big screen for Murray Mountain (or mound) (or Henman Hill, if you prefer).

 

On Sunday May 19th, the All England Club will host A No.1 Court Celebration, an exhibition event designed to test the new roof and air management system.

 

The exhibition, which will be broadcast live by the BBC, will feature a men’s singles match, ladies’ singles match and a mixed doubles match with proceeds from the event donated to the Wimbledon Foundation, the official charity of the Club.

 

Tickets for Wimbledon qualifying will cost about $14 per ticket with proceeds donated to the Wimbledon Foundation.

 

Other changes include banning of plastic straws at The Championships.

 

In a move thirsty fans will welcome, Wimbledon has expanded free water re-fill points to 87 around in addition to 21 water fountains.

 

Water re-fill points are a popular attraction at Indian Wells and a measure the US Open would be wise to increase as well.

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