April 25, 2024

Tennis Prize Money Breakdowns 2024 for ATP, WTA

With $2.54 million in tournament winnings, Jannik Sinner is the current leader in tennis prize money won through March 6 this year. The 22-year-old Italian took home about $2.1 million when he won his first career major title at the Australian Open in January. He followed up that breakout performance by winning Rotterdam in February, earning an additional $430,000. 

Aryna Sabalenka, the other singles winner in Melbourne, ranks second behind Sinner with $2.24 million in year-to-date prize money after two months. The current women’s world No. 2 received the same payout as Sinner for her win Down Under, but because she lost in the first round of the Dubai Open in February, she has not been able to add significantly to that total.

As of the start of the Indian Wells Open, women occupy three of the top five spots in the 2024 prize money rankings and four of the top 10. This can generally be attributed to the fact that Indian Wells is the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year, while the women have already played two WTA 1000 events in Dubai and Qatar. (Masters events award the most prize money, with the exception of the Grand Slams and tour finals.) The tournament has an equal purse of roughly $9 million for men and women.

How does prize money work in tennis?

When tennis players participate in tournaments, they are compensated based on the round in which they lose, with payouts escalating somewhat exponentially as the player continues to win. A first-round loser at 2024 Indian Wells will receive $30,050, while the tournament runner-up will win $585,000 and the champion $1.1 million. 

Singles draws generally pay out more money than doubles draws, but singles players also pad their earnings by participating in doubles at events that feature both formats.

The money at stake in different tournaments varies greatly. Throughout the year, there are 250-level, 500-level and 1000-level events; the number refers to how many ranking points winners receive. Tournaments with more points on the line generally pay more money. 

Which tennis tournament has the highest prize money?

The four majors—the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open—award 2,000 ranking points. They also have larger purses.

For instance, the 2023 U.S. Open allocated $3 million to each singles winner, while the 2023 Winston-Salem Open, an ATP 250 event, dished out $104,000 to its champion the prior week. Many pros also compete on the Challenger Tour, where players typically take home low five figures for winning an event. 

Although the ATP Finals and WTA Finals at the end of the calendar draw much less public attention than the majors, they are extremely lucrative. In fact, the $4.41 million that Novak Djokovic earned for winning the 2023 ATP Finals is nearly more than he made for winning the 2023 Australian Open ($2 million) and the 2023 French Open ($2.5 million) combined. 

Do men make more than women in tennis? 

Last year, 15 women and 21 men earned at least $2 million. The four majors have all paid both genders equally since 2007, but many marquee events in which men and women both play simultaneously still pay men far more. For instance, the Cincinnati Open paid out approximately $6.6 million to male players in 2023 and just $2.8 million to female players, while prize money disparities at lower-level tournaments are even worse. 

In 2022, Iga Swiatek was so dominant on the court that she nearly became the first woman to be the highest-paid tennis player in a single season since 2003, when Kim Clijsters ($4.47 million) out-earned Roger Federer ($4 million). In 2023, however, the gender pay gap at the top of the sport was the largest in decades. The top 10 male players collectively earned $84.6 million in 2023, 62% more than the $52.1 million earned by the top 10 female players. 

In the global professional sports landscape, tennis still offers the most earning potential for women, as seven of the 10 highest-paid female athletes in 2023 played tennis. Many tournaments have committed to offering equal pay in the near future, but there is still much work to be done to close the gap overall.

Male tennis stars also benefit significantly from ATP bonus pools, which share additional profits with the game’s top players. Bonus payouts are predicated on year-end ranking and participation in a certain number of 1000-level tournaments, but last year the pool ballooned to $21.3 million, where it remains for 2024.

Which tennis player has the most prize money?

For both genders, tennis is dominated financially by the elites. Last year, Djokovic earned nearly four times that of the 11th highest-paid man, Taylor Fritz, and there was a similar ratio between Swiatek’s earnings and those of the 11th highest-paid woman, Petra Kvitova.

The ATP Finals and WTA Finals had purses last year exceeding $14 million and $9 million, respectively. These tournaments only include the top eight players in the rankings, which contributes to the top-heavy prize money distribution in tennis. They are essentially “rich get richer” events to end the season. 

Djokovic’s 2023 ATP Finals win gave him the fifth-most prize money ever in a season, with inflation giving him a boost over his own dominant 2011 and 2012 campaigns. He now holds five of the top 10 prize money seasons of all time and entered the season with a $46 million lead over Rafael Nadal for the most career winnings.

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