Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wimbledon announces huge prize money increase

   Wimbledon announced the largest prize money increase and total purse in tennis history on Tuesday.
   Players will receive a 40-percent increase to 22.6 million pounds ($34.5 million) for the June 24-July 7 tournament. 
   Wimbledon also plans to build a retractable roof over Court No. 1 in time for the 2019 championships, but All England Club chairman Philip Brook would not disclose the cost to reporters. 
   Centre Court has had a retractable roof since 2009 that cost a reported 80 million pounds ($121.8 million). The championships often are plagued by rain.
   Despite Wimbledon's increased costs, Bloomberg News quoted Brook as saying the tournament will not raise ticket prices. A grounds pass for the first week costs 20 pounds ($30.46). 
   The majority of the prize money increase will go to those who need it most -- players who lose early. Those falling in the first three rounds of singles, 88 percent of the draw, will receive 60 percent more than in 2012. That will give them a boost of about 90 percent over the past two years. 
   First-round losers will collect 23,500 pounds ($35,790), a 62 percent raise. 
   Qualifying will feature a 41-percent increase, bringing the raise for those players to 71 percent in the past two years.
   Top players also will be rewarded. The final 16 in singles will receive an average increase of 40 percent, with the men's and women's champions earning 1.6 million pounds ($2.44 million). That's a 39-percent increase over $1.75 million in 2012.        
   Doubles prize money will jump 22 percent.   
   Adding a retractable roof over Court No. 1 will give Wimbledon the ability to maintain covered play on its two main show courts for more than 26,500 spectators.
   “I would like to thank all those whose contribution to Wimbledon's success both on and off court has today enabled us to announce these significant levels of investment in the championships," Brook said. "For the players, it is a deep appreciation of the demanding nature of professional tennis and the top-quality entertainment they bring, while for the championships it is about giving all our visitors the finest stage on which to enjoy Wimbledon.”
   Last year, Wimbledon officials announced the grass-court tournament will be moved back one week beginning in 2015 to create a three-week gap after the French Open on clay. The change will give players more time to rest and recover from Roland Garros and to prepare for Wimbledon during a longer grass-court season.
   Meanwhile, the first official Wimbledon iPad app will be launched for this year's tournament to complement wimbledon.com. Users can navigate around the grounds for live content (scores, draws, live video and live radio) and explore 360-degree content.     
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 42 in singles (no change), No. 347 in doubles (-11).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 185 in singles (-3), No. 353 in doubles (+123).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 27 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 19 in singles (no change), No. 109 in doubles (-3).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 231 in singles (-4), No. 834 in doubles (+5).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident from Russia -- No. 66 in singles (no change), No. 274 in doubles (-4).
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 87 in singles (+1), No. 361 in doubles (-1). 
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 14 in doubles (no change), No. 1,130 in singles (+2).
   Megan Moulton-Levy, Capitals (2013) -- No. 64 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 111 in singles (+1), No. 116 in doubles (+1).
   Taylor Townsend, Capitals (2013) -- No. 351 in singles (-3), No. 533 in doubles (no change).
(All times PDT)
   Bucharest (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (delay).
   Barcelona (men), round of 16, Tennis Channel, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (live).
   Bucharest (men), round of 16, Tennis Channel, noon-4 p.m. (delay).
   Barcelona (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3:30-11:30 a.m. (live).
   Stuttgart (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (delay).
   Bucharest (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 7:30-11:30 p.m. (delay).
   Barcelona (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4:30-9:30 a.m. (live).
   Stuttgart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (live), noon-2 p.m. (delay).
   Bucharest (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (delay).  
   Barcelona (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9:30 a.m. (live).
   Stuttgart (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   Bucharest (men), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay).
   Wednesday-Sunday -- Pac-12 Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai Valley Athletic Club/Libbey Park, Ojai, www.pac12.com.
   Wednesday-Sunday -- West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Barnes Tennis Center, San Diego, www.wccsports.com.
   Thursday-Sunday -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, www.bigwest.org.
   Friday-Sunday -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5 -- Rio del Oro Junior Championships, Rio del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento 95825, www.norcal.usta.com.
   May 10-13 -- $10,000 USTA National Men's, Women's & Mixed 30 Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, 11205 Pyrites Way, Gold River, Calif., 95670, www.usta.com, www.sparetimeinc.com.
   May 10-11 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites, www.ncaa.com.
   May 16-21 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 22-27 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 26-June 9 -- FRENCH OPEN, www.rolandgarros.com. 2012 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Max Mirnyi-Daniel Nestor, Sara Errani-Roberta Vinci.
   June 24-July 7 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Jonathan Marray-Frederik Nielsen, Serena Williams-Venus Williams.
   June 29-July 6 -- $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River, www.usta.com. 2012 champions: Maria Sanchez, Asia Muhammad-Yasmin Schnack.
   July 6-8 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento 95825, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7 -- Sacramento Capitals open season vs. Texas Wild in World TeamTennis, Capitals Stadium at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, Calif., 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.   
   July 22-28 -- Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, www.bankofthewestclassic.com. 2012 champions: Serena Williams, Marina Erakovic-Heather Watson. 
   July 25 -- World TeamTennis conference championships at highest seeds, www.wtt.com.
   July 28 -- World TeamTennis Finals at Eastern Conference champion, www.wtt.com. 

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