How Carlos Alcaraz Could Become Top All-Time Prize Money Earner In Tennis History

How Carlos Alcaraz Could Become Top All-Time Prize Money Earner In Tennis History

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Carlos Alcaraz is tipped to take over as the face of tennis for many years to come, and his projected dominance could make him the all-time prize money earner in tennis history.

Currently, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic tops the charts, having accumulated over $170 million in prize money since he turned professional in 2003 - the most of any player, male or female, in tennis history.

Last Sunday, Alcaraz became the first player born in the 2000s to attain and cross the $20 million mark in prize money, which puts him in the 29th spot in the list of career prize money earned. Alcaraz, who was born in 2003, and only turned professional in 2018, is on course to become the all-time prize money leader. Here's how:

Increased Prize Money In Tennis Tournaments

The obvious reason is that Tour-level tournaments offer sizable rewards to players and this has been growing steadily over the years. This season, the ATP announced the largest single-year increase in player prize money in its history.

It was an increment close to $40 million, taking the total compensation package to a record $217.9 million in Tour and Challenger events. And these numbers will only vault upward from next season because of limiting factors such as inflation distorting earnings over a long period of time.

Before the Open Era, Grand Slams did not compensate professionals, and traveling to play in them seemed like a waste of time and effort. But as the sport grew exponentially in the late 70s and early 80s, so did the payouts.

Players such as David Ferrer and Alexander Zverev (who haven't won a Grand Slam) have made more in prize money than Andre Agassi, an eight-time major winner.

To highlight why this happened we'll use a practical example. Agassi won his only Wimbledon title in 1992 when the All England Club committed a total financial outlay of £4,416,820.

This is a tiny fraction compared to the record prize money the tournament put together this year, a staggering £44,700,000. So players might not have won the lot in titles or matches but made way more money in the late noughties than highly successful players of the 90s.

In Alcaraz's case, increased prize money year-on-year significantly puts him in a prime position to hit an eight-figure amount per season. He is on course to attain $10 million in prize money for 2023 alone.

Alcaraz Is Destined To Win Double Digit Slams

While the general consensus is that we shouldn't look far ahead of ourselves, but in Alcaraz's case, it's tough not to. He is tennis' best prospect since a young Rafael Nadal stormed to win Roland Garros on his debut, and the rest, as they say, is history engraved in gold. The similarities are hard to ignore, and the ATP might have hit the jackpot with a man destined to become the face of the sport.

Alcaraz is tipped to dominate for at least a decade. And if we can tie this point to the aforementioned reason of increased prize money year-on-year, Alcaraz might feasibly cross the $100 million mark in prize money from winning double-digit Grand Slams.

And outside the Grand Slams, the rest of the tournament categories are also offering handsome compensation in relation to previous seasons. For instance, champions at Masters events take home at least $1 million in prize money as of 2023. And Alcaraz's dominance is also going to extend outside the Slams. He's already bagged four Masters at the age of 20.


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