Organizers up French Open’s prize money
The French Open has increased prize money to a total of €36 million (£30.4 million) for this summer’s tournament.
That is a rise of €4 million from last year’s event, with the winners of the singles titles to take home €2.1 million (£1.8 million) each.
The biggest increases have once again come in the early rounds, with those losing in first-round qualifying guaranteed €5,000 (£4,200) – a rise of more than 40 per cent in a year.
Players coming through three rounds of qualifying will earn €18,000 (£15,200), while those beaten in the first round proper will take home €35,000 (£29,600).
Tournament Director, Guy Forget, told a press conference reported on rolandgarros.com: “We are on a consistent upward slope.
“We wanted to focus on qualifying, since the gaps are getting wider and wider between those who occupy the top spots, and those who are simply trying to make a living from tennis.
“For qualifying this year, there will be a 33 per cent increase in prize money. The aim is to enable all those players ranked outside number 128 in the world to come to Roland Garros and to be recognised for their true worth.”
The tournament will announce which players have been given wild cards on Facebook Live on May 16, including its decision on Maria Sharapova.
The two-time former champion made her return from a 15-month doping ban in Stuttgart on Wednesday with victory over Roberta Vinci.
French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli, insisted no decision has yet been made, although it is understood the preferred option is to award her a wild card into qualifying, should she require it.
If Sharapova reaches the final in Stuttgart, her ranking will be high enough to earn her direct entry into qualifying.
Giudicelli said: “As things stand today, there is no reason to assign one particular wild card before any of the others. We will not take our decision lightly.”