No one can match the money on offer at a Grand Slam.
A first round exit round now guarantees you £40,000 or more. A couple of years ago we had a big problem where injured players were turning up, playing a set in round one and withdrawing to still collect their prize money.
The rules for the Grand Slams got changed.
Players can now keep their name in the draw if injured, they must turn up on site and withdraw before play begins. When they withdraw they will only get 50% of the first round prize money (£20,000) the other half goes to the lucky loser who takes their place.
This has come to light once again since the introduction of the rule in 2018.
Katie Boulter who hasn’t played on the WTA tour in over two months , still played in Fed Cup but a result was coming away with a back injury.
It’s been pretty expected for her to withdraw but she was still in the draw. Today she turned up to withdraw so still got the 50% prize money but in a statement said she hoped to play but doctors said not to.
What Katie has done is well within the rules but what’s got people’s backs up is the reasoning.
The feeling is that she wouldn’t play anyway so the hoping to play statement doesn’t seem to honest. I would have felt more comfortable with the situation if she would have said. The rules are there, I am entitled to that money I worked hard to get to a main draw entrance spot and it’s a shame injury has forced me out.
This is the approach I’d expect every player to take.
Away from Boulter and I hope she is fit to play soon!
The other side of the rule I don’t like…
Player works hard in qualifying, loses in third round. Hangs around, gets a lucky loser spot but it still feels like with them only getting 50% prize money.
It feels to me as their being penalised.
We talk about integrity a lot in the sport and this rule has helped but it just doesn’t sit right with me.
How do you all feel?