Elina Svitolina admits ‘significant’ drop in prize money has hit her motivation levels

Elina Svitolina has said that the recent drop in WTA prize money plays a role in her motivation at tournaments.

Speaking ahead of this week’s tournament in Dubai, the top seed of the event insisted that it’s very important for players to readjust to the decrease of prize money paychecks.

“There is definitely a significant change in the prize money,” two-time champion Svitolina said ahead of the tournament.

“I think it’s really not easy for some players to adjust and for me personally it’s maybe also a little bit right now.

“We’re a little bit spoiled from the years that the prize money was really high. So that for sure plays a little role in the motivation, in my opinion.”

Svitolina has a total career prize money earnings of $19,460,456, with a total of 15 WTA singles titles. She also commented on how the prize money can affect where she plays, in terms of the size of the tournament:

“It gets into your head that you know you have less motivation at some tournaments to play because the prize money is much lower, and you’re playing for example a smaller tournament and you’re tired afterward to play a big one, so you would skip it.”

With the influence of Covid-19 affecting crowd capacities at all tournaments since the resume last summer, it’s been an unfortunate but necessary change to decrease the prize money on offer across the week, to help accommodate for this loss. 

Ticket sales are a primary source of income for tennis tournaments, however these sacrifices must be made in order to assure that the athletes can return to the court. 

This year’s Dubai Tennis Championships sees a 68% decrease in the champion’s prize money, from $696,860 to £221,500. 

“Hopefully we can step by step improve and get back to where we were before,” Svitolina ended. 

The world number five will get her singles campaign underway tomorrow against the Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. 

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