Wimbledon increases prize money and announces retractable roof for Court One

Wimbledon increases prize money and announces retractable roof for Court One

Wimbledon tennis singles champions will win £2.35m (€2.72m) this year, which is an increase of £100,000 (€115,000) on the event in 2018.

The total prize money across the tournament will be £38m (€44m), a rise of 11.8%.

This year will also see a retractable roof on Court One for the first time.

There will be a change in roof protocol, however, following the semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal last year which went into a second day and was completed under the Centre Court roof.

Now, any matches not completed before the 11pm curfew will resume the following day without the roof, unless the weather dictates otherwise.

At its spring press conference, the All England Club also announced a 47% rise in prize money for wheelchair tennis, largely due to the introduction of quad wheelchair events.

Wimbledon will not be introducing a shot clock this summer but it is expected to be in place next year.

The All England Club will also launch an online ticket ballot in autumn 2019 for the 2020 Championships.

Andy Murray has an official deadline of June 18 to apply for a wild card for this year's Wimbledon Championships.

However, the All England Club has suggested it may give the two-time winner longer to decide whether he is able to compete.

Murray is recovering from hip surgery and has yet to set a date for a potential return.

If he is fit enough, the 31-year-old Scot could use his protected ranking to enter Wimbledon, but he might apply for a wild card in order to use that ranking for future events.

Wimbledon begins on July 1 and All England club chiefs would of course dearly love to have Britain's former world number one in the draw.

Chairman Philip Brook said: "There have been no discussions with Andy yet. It's too soon to know the answer to that one.

"Should he wish to apply he would do so in the normal way, we have a scheduled meeting on June 18 ahead of the championships to decide on wild cards.

"We have a process which applies to all players."

As to whether that deadline could be extended for Murray, chief executive Richard Lewis added: "If Andy came forward with a strong case I am sure we would work with him."

Wimbledon increases prize money and announces retractable roof for Court One

Murray has not played competitively since the Australian Open in January, where he lost in five sets to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.

He said before the tournament that he planned to retire after this summer's Wimbledon, but also revealed that the Australian Open could prove to be his last event.

Murray had the hip resurfacing operation in London on January 28 and says he is now pain free, although he has only been hitting balls from a stationary position so far.

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