Lets talk about tennis for a moment.
The Australian Open wrapped up this weekend, inducting two new champions in both men and women’s singles titles. Novak Djokovic, who is ranked number three in the world, and Maria Sharapova, who is ranked number five, were both elated with their wins.
I have to say that there is nothing more exciting than to watch the championship match of a grand slam. The players compete as if there is something to lose. And there is. Not just bragging rights are on the line, but their livelihood: their prize money.
Unlike many other professional sports, tennis players do not have a yearly salary in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They make their money off of prize money and the amount varies depending on the round they make it to.
While I realize that the majority of the players do generate heafty sums of money through endorsement deals, it is nothing in comparison to some athletes who receive a salary and endorsements. As mentioned in a previous entry, LeBron James receives $90-million in endorsement deals, and it is reported that he has been offered a five year contract extension by the Cleveland Cavaliers worth an estimated $80-million dollars.
Now, I don’t ever remember hearing of a tennis player making that much, not even Roger Federer.
The following is the prize money given at the Australian Open in men and women’s singles titles:
1st Round – $19,400
2nd Round – $30,250
3rd Round – $50,000
4th Round – $85,625
Quarter finalist – $171,250
Semi finalist – $342,500
Runners-up – $685,000
Winners – $1,370,000
Yes, that’s right both Djokovic and Sharapova won over $1.3 million dollars. I didn’t say it wasn’t a lot of money. I just said it wasn’t $80-million dollars.