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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 17:52 UK

Wimbledon increases prize money

Works continue at Wimbledon ahead of the start on 23 June
Works continue at Wimbledon ahead of the start on 23 June

Wimbledon organisers have announced that the 2008 men's and women's champions will both receive 750,000.

In the second year of equal prize money for the winners of the men's and women's singles, the champions will each get 50,000 more than in 2007.

The All England Club said an enlarged Centre Court with 15,000 seats and the return of its traditional roof will be ready for the 23 June start.

Work will be completed in 2009 with the addition of a retractable roof.

A new Court Two is structurally complete and will also come into use in the summer of 2009.

At the moment we have no plans for a Sunday start

Tim Phillips
All England Club chairman

Total prize money will rise by 4.7%, from 11,282,710 to 11,812,000.

"It is difficult to answer whether we felt the women give equal value for money compared to the men," said Tim Phillips, chairman of the All England Club.

"Last year we had an extraordinary men's final, the previous year we had an extraordinary ladies' final. Each year, one event might be better than the other.

"But we felt that equal prize money was absolutely the right thing to do."

And Phillips added that there were no plans to follow the lead of the French Open and start the tournament on a Sunday.

"At the moment we have no plans for a Sunday start," he said.

"There is an argument for the Sunday start and that is partly based on the fact it is a good day to get impact through television.

606: DEBATE

"Organisers want to make a bit of noise at the beginning of the tournament when people are not in the office or at school.

"But we think people notice Wimbledon is on already, so we do not have to go down that route.

"The disadvantage is it complicates issues for the tours if you encroach into the previous week. So we are being considerate to them.

"It might be beneficial for families to start on the Sunday but there are other ways to get people into the ground."




see also
Henman joins BBC Wimbledon team
10 Apr 08 |  Tennis


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