Do Tennis Players Receive Prize Money at Olympics?

Published 07/19/2021, 4:07 AM EDT
The giant Olympic rings are seen through a tree in the dusk at the waterfront area of Odaiba Marine Park, before the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato


The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world, as athletes from countries all over look forward to representing their nations at the highest level of sports every four years. While such a task surely comes with a sense of pride and honor, does it come with a monetary benefit? Do these players receive any monetary consideration for their efforts?

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The International Olympic Committee does not reward the athletes at the Olympics for winning a medal. The same rule applies to tennis players as well, who receive hefty amounts at their major events.

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Prize money at the Olympics for tennis players

There is no prize money for the tennis players or any other athletes at the Olympics. The IOC does not give any form of remuneration to the athletes for winning a medal. However, the respective countries that the athletes are representing, arrange special bonuses for them. Nations reward their athletes for winning a medal or merely participating in the Olympics with a heavy cash prize.

The prize money at major events, such as the four Grand Slam events, is much higher than any other event. Players get paid for participating at these events, the prize for which is higher than any cash reward given by a country to its athletes.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, several countries rewarded their athletes with a hefty amount. However, there was a significant disparity across the board. Andy Murray received no cash reward from his country for his gold in men’s singles. Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling, on the other hand, received 580,000 pounds from his country, as he won the gold in 100m butterfly stroke.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL : Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with his Gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the Men’s singles final at Olympic Tennis Centre on in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The withdrawal of players from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

There were several players who withdrew from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, as they did not like the no money and no ranking scheme. Ernests Gulbis was the man who came forward and expressed his dissatisfaction with the system. He, along with big names like Dominic Thiem, Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Bernard Tomic, and Feliciano Lopez, had pulled out of the event.

I really don’t like that in Olympic Games there is no points and no prize money. It’s a little bit like tennis tourism, from my side,” said Gulbis in an interview with The New York Times.

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Watch this story: Olympic Legends Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lin Dan and Others Missing Out on Tokyo Olympics 2020

Athletes who have a sure shot chance of winning a medal do not care about the money or ranking system. However, the lower-ranked players need some form of motivation in order to perform at the grand event.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will begin on Friday, July 23. Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty are the favorites to win the men’s and women’s singles events, respectively.

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Suchit Halder

176 articles

Suchit Halder is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Management Studies from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. With a keen interest in writing and sports, Suchit has previously worked as a content writer at Football Counter and worked with the content team for Delhi Capitals during IPL 2021.

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