The French Open announced an 8% increase to its prize money for the 2019 tournament on Thursday, with the men’s and women’s singles winners to take home 2.3 million euros [$2.62 million].
Roland Garros remains the Grand Slam event with the least prize money on offer for the winners, some way short of the $3.8 million claimed by last year’s US Open champions, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.
But French Open tournament director Guy Forget wanted to narrow the gap between the champions and players who exit in the opening week, with first-round losers given a 15-percent rise to 46,000 euros.
There have also been significant increases to the prize money available for losing in qualifying, with players who fall at the last hurdle before the main draw to take home 24,000 euros.
Last year saw eight lucky losers play in the men’s draw after the introduction of rule changes designed to deter injured players from only appearing in order to collect the first-round prize money.
This year’s French Open starts on May 26, with the men’s final on June 9.