SA tennis stars Kevin Anderson and Lloyd Harris will receive a tidy R520 000 each as part of the Wimbledon payout to players. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but organisers announced that they will pay out prize money to the players who would have taken part.Harris, currently ranked 98th, and Anderson (123rd) qualified to receive prize money.
Not bad if you can net a cool R520 000 for not as much as hitting a ball in a tennis tournament!
This approximate amount is what top South African players Lloyd Harris and Kevin Anderson will each receive as a payout from the All-England Club despite this year's Wimbledon Championships being cancelled because of the grim coronavirus pandemic.
In all, the authorities of the renowned Grand Slam event have elected without compulsion to make a shared payout of Pound 10 million (approximately R210 million) to the 620 men and women players who would have technically qualified because of their rankings to have entered in one of the main or qualifying events at Wimbledon.
The overall Wimbledon prize money for this year was projected in the region of Pound 40 million (R835 million)
Instead the 125 world top-ranked men's and women's singles players will now each receive a grant of around R520 000 (Pound 25 000), with Harris currently ranked 98th and the one-time fifth-ranked Anderson easing in with a 123rd ranking after a string of injuries had drastically hampered his progress over the past two years.
First round singles qualifiers under normal circumstances would have earned R945 000 even if they had lost at this juncture of the tournament.
And, of course, the R250 000 for the now phantom first round singles qualifiers is nothing compared to the proposed winners of the unplayed men's and women's singles who would have each received over Pound 2.5 million (R52 million).
Still, a number of leading players, among them four-times Grand Slam champion, Kim Clijsters, who is now planning a comeback, have praised Wimbledon officials for their gesture in excruciatingly difficult times - ''which they did not have to make and demonstrated they are not without feelings."
At the same time, it is as well to point out that the All England Club only made their gesture after consultation with their insurers over their own rights in regard to the cancellation of the Wimbledon event.