Sport Tennis Brexit result could cost Wimbledon winner

Brexit result could cost Wimbledon winner

Nick Kyrgios is Australia's best chance at Wimbledon.
ABC
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It’s thrown the entire British economy into turmoil, but Friday’s Brexit result may have a very specific affect on this year’s Wimbledon winner.

Although tennis’ top-seeded players are hardly in need of an income boost, the pound’s tailspin has effectively slashed Wimbledon’s prize money by 10 per cent.

As Britons took stock of the historic result last week, their currency was in free fall, dropping to a 31-year low not seen since 1985.

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Tournament favourite Novak Djokovic could be a big loser from the falling pound. Photo: AAP

For tournament favourites such as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, a single day on the stock exchange turned the A$4 million winner’s cheque into A$3.65 million.

Lower seeds feel the sting

While the game’s big earners are unlikely to win the sympathy of viewers, spare a thought for those who won’t make it past the first round.

For them, the pound’s free fall amounts to a bigger loss – and was painfully exemplified by one qualifier on Friday.

Austrian player Gerald Melzer, who reached a career-high ranking of 107 in April, was forced to finish his match on Friday after it was rained out the day before.

But, as the news broke that Britons had voted to exit the European Union, Melzer watched his comparatively small prize money dwindle.

By the end of the match, his prize money fell from A$29,886 to A$27,480.

Melzer, already disappointed to lose the match, told The New York Times the currency depression had got him down, too.

“A thousand euros is a thousand euros, it’s not like losing two euros. So yeah, it hurts,” he said.

Belgian player Yannick Mertens also bemoaned the sluggish pound after also being rained out the day before.

“We lose money in one day without doing anything,” Mertens told the Times.

“For us, it’s a bad decision, but there’s nothing we can do about it. For sure it’s not positive for us.”

Murray and Scottish irony

One group who deserves to be truly miffed at the Brexit result is the Scottish, who overwhelmingly voted to ‘Stay’.

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Andy Murray’s Scotland is looking for a way out of Brexit. Photo: AAP

Compounding the situation is the fact that Scotland only narrowly voted against breaking away from Britain and declaring independence in 2014.

For Scots wanting independence and EU membership, the result has got to be infuriating.

And someone never shy to express their fury is number two Wimbledon seed and moody Scot, Andy Murray.

Murray – who claimed an historic Wimbledon victory in 2013 – has a real shot at the title this year and will not be too happy about the prize money slump.

Friday’s shock result has been tipped to trigger another Scottish referendum, led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and high profile celebrities such as writer JK Rowling.

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