Huge money on offer in China with record prize pot up for grabs for top women
The prize money on offer at this year’s China Open has been revealed and it is set to be a bumper week for the leading stars of the WTA Tour.
Tennis has made a return to China for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic that started in the country in late 2019.
The absence of Chinese events on the calendar since has been especially damaging for the women’s tour, which was receiving huge financial backing from events being staged in the region.
The WTA Tour finals were being hosted in China along with several lucrative events, yet all that came to a halt when the pandemic brought the sport to a standstill.
Now the doors are being opened up to the game, with the WTA 1000 event in Beijing offering a huge $8,127,389 in total prize money.
The champion will collect a massive $1.5 million, which is the largest sum available outside of the WTA Finals
With such huge rewards on offer, it is no surprise that all of the game’s biggest stars are travelling to Beijing for what looks set to be a tournament that will be as strong as any Grand Slam event this year.
World No 1 Aryna Sabalenka and No 2 Iga Swiatek lead a field that will also include reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, Elena Rybakina and Jelena Ostapenko.
This year marks the 17th edition of this tournament on the WTA Tour and first since 2019, when Naomi Osaka defeated Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
There will also be an ATP taking place in Beijing, yet this will not be an elite event like the women’s draw.
Dominic Thiem won the last edition of this tournament in 2019 with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final and a big-name field have been confirmed for this year’s tournament.
The China Open men’s draw will be competing for prize money of $3,633,875, with 500 ATP ranking points up for grabs for the winners.
Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz and US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev lead the field for this event, with Holger Rune, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas also set to make an appearance.
The winner of the men’s tournament will receive $679,550, with the runner-up set to collect prize money $365,640.
As this is a non-mandatory event, top players like Alcaraz and Medvedev may also receive appearance money to take their place in the draw in Beijing.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic has opted against entering the upcoming events in China, as he looks to recover from his US Open win and his contribution to Serbia’s progress in the Davis Cup.
This is one of the rare occasions in the tennis year when the same tournament hosts WTA and ATP Tour events and the women players are competing for more money.
Yet this is primarily due to the women’s event being one of their elite 1000 ranking point tournaments and the main event for the ATP Tour in China will come next month, when the biggest names in the game will play at a Masters 1000 event in Shanghai.
The total prize money for the 2023 Shanghai Masters is US$8,800,000 and the singles champion will earn US$1,262,220 while a player bowing out in the first round will earn US$18,660.
The doubles champion team will earn US$436,730 while a team losing in the first round receives US$18,020.
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