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4 Years After $1,500,000 Bag for Naomi Osaka, WTA China Open Fails to Replicate Historic Feat as Prize Money Paints Sad Picture

Published 09/30/2023, 8:09 AM EDT

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After four long years of waiting, the China Open which was paused due to COVID, made a grand comeback in Beijing, and tennis fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating the action. This prestigious tournament, hosting both the WTA 1000 and ATP 500 events, typically follows the US Open and is a highlight on the tennis calendar.

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However, as players prepare to take the court and fans brace for thrilling matches, there’s a captivating twist in the tale – the prize money has an intriguing story of its own. While the comeback of the tournament where Naomi Osaka flourished back in 2019 is making waves, the prize money chose to follow inflation in the opposite way.

The prize money conundrum at China Open 2023


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In the women’s section, the WTA 1000 event is expected to deliver exciting tennis matches. But when it comes to the money players can win, things have changed. Back in 2019, Naomi Osaka won the tournament and got a big check of $1,524,000, and the talented Austrian player, Dominic Thiem won the men’s title and earned a hefty $733,320.

But in 2023, the winner will receive a smaller check. The new champion will take home just $679,550, which is 7.4% less than what Thiem won four years ago.


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This time around, the champion will receive a smaller prize of $1,324,000, which is 13.08% less than what Osaka got in 2019.

via Reuters

However, there’s a brighter side for players who don’t make it past the first round. They will see a good increase in their earnings, getting 35.17% more compared to 2019, with a prize of $32,325, as reported by Perfect Tennis.

While the prize money poses to be an underwhelming figure, the WTA end still has exciting players in its draw.


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Stars shine bright as China Open is all set to kick off

The 17th edition of the women’s tournament at the China Open is set to kick off on October 2, and although Naomi Osaka won’t be competing this year due to maternity leave, the competition promises to be fierce. World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka will be among the favorites, as will second seed Iga Swiatek and US Open champion Coco Gauff.

While the former WTA champion might not be participating in this newly minted WTA 1000 event, Osaka will start her comeback tour with the upcoming Australian Open in 2024.


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As the China Open returns to the tennis scene, the changing prize money reminds us that things are evolving in the sport. While some players will feel a pinch in their earnings, others will enjoy the chance to earn more money in the earlier rounds.

WATCH THIS STORY: ‘I Really Love…’ – Naomi Osaka Points to the Ancient Technique She Relies on for Keeping Calm 2 Years After Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas Vouched for It

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Written by:

Ansh Tandon


One take at a time

Ansh Tandon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. Ansh received his undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has been working in content creation for 2+ years. Before Ansh stepped into sports journalism, he was a professional tennis player, honing his skills in national level tournaments for the past 12 years as an active AITA athlete.
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Edited by:

Bhavani Singh