Ten years after winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles with Jelena Jankovic, Jamie Murray once again secured the Wimbledon mixed doubles title, this time with Martina Hingis.
The defending champions Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen made it to the final, defeating several seeded pairings again on the way. At the end, though, the top seeds were just too strong for them.
With the prize money for the men and ladies singles having been equalised, many may be surprised to know that the reward for the mixed doubles title has stalled.
Back in 2007, Murray and Jankovic as the victors they shared a prize pot of £90,000 – fairly modest compared to what the singles winners and even the other doubles winners received.
Over the years, the Slams have equalised both the men and ladies singles prize money. The doubles prize money on offer has always been lower than the singles, but the mixed doubles is so significantly lower that it appears to be an afterthought.
Essentially only held at Slams (and once every four years in the Olympics), mixed doubles holds no ranking points, and you essentially start from scratch each time.
The mixed doubles enjoys a great amount of support amongst the public, as does doubles generally, yet both are treated as second-class compared to the singles. Singles certainly draws more fans, but doubles deserves far more attention than it receives. In the Slams you hardly ever see any of the top singles players taking part in the doubles (especially on the men’s side), as they are concentrating on the main events.
Doubles is often much more entertaining than the singles, especially if Mansour Bharami is involved. Coverage of doubles on television is not as good as it should be, which is probably what contributes to the prize pot.
Cover more doubles on television, you will get more viewers. Centre Court at Wimbledon was full for the mixed doubles (and not just because there were Brits on both sides of the net).
Increase the prize money for doubles and mixed doubles and you are likely to also encourage more of the top players to partake in doubles. Every tournament needs the doubles promoted more, from the ITF events through to the Grand Slams.
When Murray and Hingis won the final point in the final, their prize pot was £100,000 to share between them, a paltry 10% more than what it was in 2007. Compare that to singles, where Roger Federer earned £700,000 for winning in 2007, yet he received £2,200,000 for winning this year. That’s an increase of over 300%. The difference in prize money for regular doubles is even more extreme, with an increase of over 350% since 2007. Yet the prize money for mixed doubles has barely changed at all. In fact, if you look at exchange rates, the pound is much weaker than it was a decade ago. In terms of dollars, the mixed doubles champions actually received less in 2017 than they did in 2007. How can this be right?
The cost of living has increased over those ten years, yet the prize pot for mixed doubles has basically stayed as it previously was.
Wimbledon have stated that like all the events at their event, they will be reviewing the pay pots before the Championships in 2018, we can only hope that they increase substantially the mixed doubles money.