SHENZHEN, China - The Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen has seen the world’s finest female tennis players take to the court, with the world’s eight top-ranked players chasing a record winning prize for the sport.
Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina, along with alternates Kiki Bertens and Sofia Kenin, have fought all year to earn the right to play at the tournament.
After an electrifying week in Shenzhen, No.1 seed Barty and No.8 seed Svitolina will battle it out in the championship match for the WTA Finals crown - and the chance to make tennis history.
Having collected two round robin wins, Barty can pocket $4,420,000 should she lift the trophy, while Svitolina, who advanced undefeated, is playing for the maximum singles prize, $4,725,000. Both amounts are record-setting figures.
Read more: WTA Finals 2019: Final Countdown
Indeed, the Tour’s crown jewel event, which pits the players together in two groups of four, with the top two moving through to the semifinals, has seen its total prize money double from $7m in 2018 to $14m – more than any other tennis event.
The previous record was set at the 2019 US Open, where the winners of both the men’s and ladies’ singles events claimed $3.85m.
What is the prize money in the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen singles tournament?
The prize money each singles player earns in Shenzhen is based on their performance in the tournament, while each qualifier claiming a flat participation fee of $385,000.
The winner of each round robin match in the group stages will earn an additional $305,000, meaning that a player winning their group having won three matches will total $915,000.
Should a player lose her semifinal, she will take home her winnings from the round-robin phase. That means between $690,000 and $1.3m, depending on their performance in the groups.
In the final, meanwhile, a winning prize of $3.425m is on the line. The victor can therefore take a total of between $4.114m and $4.725m for her week’s work.
The runner-up will earn a bonus of $1.1m for winning her semifinal, which equates to potential prize money of $2.4m.
WTA FINALS CHAMPION
$4,725,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$4,420,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$4,115,000 – if 1 round-robin win
WTA FINALS RUNNER-UP
$2,400,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$2,095,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$1,790,000 – if 1 round-robin win
WTA FINALS SEMIFINALISTS
$1,300,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$995,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$690,000 – if 1 round-robin win
What have the players said about the prize money at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen?
Q. Going undefeated in the round-robin means you're eligible for the full prize money, $4.7 million, biggest prize money in all of tennis. Was this any extra motivation for you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: "Well, for sure it's big motivation for everyone. The prize money been raised. We all aware about that. I think first of all it's amazing for women's tennis in general. We are moving the right direction.
"Yeah, it's amazing to have these kind of events, the first time in any sport. That's a huge step for us. Definitely very, very proud that it's in tennis and that we are part of it."
Q. Record-breaking prize money tomorrow. Everybody says we play for the love of the game, not for the money. It's a lot of zeros. What do you take away from that headline, what it means for the tour, you personally, women's sport?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: "I think that's the biggest thing, it's been a growth of women's sport. For me individually, and I think for all of us players individually, it's not something we think about. It's more of kind of a general progression of putting our sport more on the map.
"I think we have the most beautiful sport, it's a global sport. Now we're getting more attention. I feel like we've earned that.
"As Micky [Lawler, WTA President] has said a million times: We've come from nothing and now we're in this position where we're breaking records. It's very special for our game, the WTA, all of the people behind the scenes that do so much hard work to try to put our sport on the map, try to create more of an interest globally."
What is the prize money in the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen doubles tournament?
The doubles champions at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen could also set a record for prize money. The doubles competition, which features the Top 8 teams on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, returns to a two-group round-robin format this year.
The final will be contested by No.3 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic and No.2 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova.
Having advanced undefeated into the final, Mladenovic and Babos will play for $1,000,000 - the largest doubles prize money check in professional tennis. Their opponents, who collected two round robin wins, could take home $950,000.
WTA FINALS DOUBLES CHAMPION
$1,000,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$950,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$900,000 – if 1 round-robin win
WTA FINALS DOUBLES RUNNERS-UP
$525,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$475,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$425,000 – if 1 round-robin win
WTA FINALS DOUBLES SEMIFINALISTS
$315,000 – if undefeated (3 round-robin wins)
$265,000 – if 2 round-robin wins
$215,000 – if 1 round-robin win
The Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, the 49th edition of the tournament, began on October 27 and run through until November 3.
What does it take to bring a record-setting prize purse to the WTA Finals?
Our four-part video series, 'Evolution of Prize Money', presented by Cambridge Global Payments, delves into the battle for equal prize money:
Cambridge Global Payments, the official foreign exchange provider of the WTA, helps facilitates the exchange of funds between our tournament members to our players. They are responsible for distributing all prize money from the WTA’s 55 events to the currency of the players choosing including the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen $14M prize purse.