The premier tennis tournament on clay each year is the French Open, played at Roland Garros. Held at the end of May and beginning of June, this year‘s tournament starts May 18, and goes all the way to the final on June 7.
Heading into the tournament, the overwhelming favorite in men’s singles will once again be Rafael Nadal, barring injury. The Spaniard has a total of 12 Championships at the tournament, and he has not lost a match there since withdrawing from the 2016 tournament with an injury. So if it’s Nadal, or anyone else in the field for that matter hoisting the trophy, the payday is looking to be higher than ever.
How much does the winner receive in prize money at the French Open 2020? Estimates based on percentage trends over the years have the men’s and women’s French Open Singles Champion taking home about €2.4 million. The loser in the final will likely take home a little more than half of that total.
French Open – Total Prize Money
The total amount of prize money that were involved in the French Open tournament 2019 were €38 million. Here is a breakdown of how much prize money that are involved in each category.
|French Open (2019)||Winner Receives||Total Prize Money|
|Quad Wheelchair Singles||€20K||€72K|
|Quad Wheelchair Doubles||€4K||€12K|
Even though Nadal gets a lot of attention from fans, several other players are eying pretty big paydays once they walk away from the tournament. Some will be going for titles, while others will be satisfied with winning a few matches to cash in.
Actual 2020 numbers will not be available until very close to the competition, so expect the 2020 numbers to increase with about 5%. With the numbers readily available, we have a pretty good idea on the money given out for each draw.
While the official total will not be released until very close to the start of the tournament, many expect it to be roughly around €45 million. This is based on trends in the past few years that has seen the total prize money go from €17.5 million in 2011 all the way to €38 million in 2019.
|Year||Total Prize Money|
The prize money increase has fluctuated over the years, but there are some trends to pay attention to. Most notably, they are largely based on the popularity of the sport (fans and sponsors), as well as the current state of the global economy. From 2012-2017, prize money increases were over 10%. It has tapered down a bit in the last few years, settling right around 8-9% across the board.
Of course, how the prize money breaks up has always been a subject for debate. Winners get the most, but it was not until recently that the men and women received equal prize money. That has been a hot topic for years, but currently, all the majors now provide the same payout.
Another topic for debate is what percentage of the prize money should go to everyone else. The focus at the French Open has been about giving those early round losers a bit more of the pie. For some players, this is still their biggest payday. The difference in winning just one match can help fund a low ranked player for several months.
|Singles (2019)||Prize Money|
The French Open offers the same prize money for men’s and women’s singles players, depending on their finish. In recent years, they have made a conscious effort to pay everyone who makes the main draw a good amount of money.
Everyone saw their prize money go up by a percentage in the last few years, but winners only rose about 5%, while first-round players saw an increase of 15%. There has even been an increase in prize money for those who only make it in qualifying. Just for the first round in qualifying, a player still leaves with €7000.
The winner in 2020 will walk home with an estimated €2.4 million in singles, while the loser will just a little more than half of that. This estimate is based on payment trends over the years. Those who just get to the main draw will expect to receive right around €50,000.
Prize money for the doubles has not been going up at nearly the same rate as singles. A lot of this has to do with overall popularity, as fans attend singles matches much more than doubles.
The winners should still expect around €600,000 in the 2020 French Open. Those who exit in the first round will only receive around €12,000. To make the competition even tougher, a lot of doubles teams come together for the Grand Slam events only. For example, the Williams sisters don’t play a lot of doubles tournaments, but they are much more likely to play on the biggest stages. This makes it tougher for doubles specialists trying to advance far.
The trend with mixed doubles is very similar to singles, in that winners are not seeing that much of an increase compared to early-round exits. The mixed doubles champions in 2019 received the smallest increase from 2018 to 2019, and it has not been much better in recent years.
Wheelchair & Quad
|2019||Winner Receives||Total Prize Money|
|Quad Wheelchair Singles||€20K||€36K|
|Quad Wheelchair Doubles||€4K||€6K|
Making a ton of money as a wheelchair or quad tennis player is a bit of a challenge. Most do it part-time, but it is still a very competitive tournament at all levels. The top players can make a decent living with prize money and sponsors, but it is a challenge for many others.
Prize money is divided very equally in these tournaments. Winners in the wheelchair tournament will expect about €55,000 in 2020, and the prize money is half as it goes down the list. The good news is prize money is growing at a pretty fast rate of over 10% for the last few years.
It is harder to predict the Quad prize money for singles and doubles, since 2019 was the first year for this division. Players in singles received €20,000 for winning, while the doubles team received €4000. Expect that to go up, but no one is quite sure how much.