The glittering array of tennis superstars is of course enough to attract anyone to the Stade Roland Garros for the French Open, but in 2019 those flocking to the west of Paris for the second of the annual Grand Slam tournaments were treated to the unveiling of the glossy new Court-Simonne-Mathieu.
Some of the first players lucky enough to baptise it on the opening day of the 52nd Open Era edition of the competition were Garbiñe Muguruza, Venice Wiliams, and Marco Cecchinato, all vying for the top €2.2million singles winners reward in their respective categories.
Equal prize money for both men and women is now across the board at the Grand Slam tournaments. Wimbledon - the oldest tennis tournament in the world - was the last to award equal pay in 2007, a good 34 years after it was initialised at the US Open in 1973.
Wimbledon’s decision was also six years after the Australian Open brought in the pay parity, in 2001, with the French Open following suit in 2006.
The French Open is actually the lowest paying of the four Grand Slams for the outright singles winner, and has the second lowest total purse for the competitions, standing at €42,661,000 ($48.4million). In comparison, the US Open - the second oldest of the tournaments having started in 1881 and last won by Novak Djokovic - surpasses it, with $50.4million (€45.19m).
Those who win at Flushing Meadows this coming August will be awarded $3.7million apiece, with the runner-up receiving $1.85million. The French Open, at the other end of the scale, provides the significantly less $2.56million, (€2.3m), up from $2.47million (€2.22m) for the 2018 tournament.
Wimbledon has a prize pool of £38million ($47.8m), with singles champions receiving £2.35million a leap of £100,000 up from £2.25 million in 2018.
The Australian Open’s purse - though the lowest by far - has now reached their record $62.5million(AUS) ($43.21m US), with incumbent champions Djokovic and Naomi Osaka pocketing $4.1m (AUS) ($2.83m US) in January 2019.
Golf offers an interesting comparison, being a relatively similar sport in terms of popularity and seasonal term for the majors, taking place between April and July. The top four Golf tournaments, despite having a smaller purse than each of the aforementioned tennis Grand Glams offers equivalent paydays for their champions. Like in tennis, the US Open is also the most rewarding, with 1st place being the beneficiary of $2,160,000, froze a prize pool of just $12m.