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.
Below is a breakdown of the French Open prize money for singles, doubles, mixed and wheelchair.
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 (2021)||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 2021 numbers will not be available until very close to the competition, so expect the 2021 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
|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 (2021)||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.
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.
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.
Wheelchair & Quad
|2021||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.
If you want to compare the French Open prize money to the other Grand Slam tournaments, check out these posts: