French Open prizes up nearly 7% from 2019 pre-pandemic level

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PARIS – Total French Open prize money will be about 7% higher this year than it was for the last pre-pandemic edition in 2019 – with an increase of 35% for players who lose in the first round of singles – but the singles champions will each receive slightly less than they did three years ago.

The French Tennis Federation announced that it will hand out a total of 43.6 million euros (about $46 million) in 2022.

The clay-court Grand Slam tournament begins on May 22, with Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova as the reigning champions.

The winners of the two singles trophies this year will each earn 2.2 million euros (about $2.3 million), down from 2.3 million euros (about $2.4 million) apiece in 2019.

Compared to last year, when the coronavirus pandemic led to limits on attendance at Roland Garros, there is an increase from the 34.4 million euros (about $36.5 million) in total prizes and 1.4 million euros (just under $1.5 million) for the singles champions.

First-round losers in singles will receive 62,000 euros this time (about $65,750), a jump from 46,000 (about $48,750) in 2019.

In all, when compared to 2019, the singles purse goes up nearly 1.5% and the doubles prizes rise by about 6%.

Players in qualifying rounds will see an increase of about 65% in available money over 2019, and 30% over last year.

The federation said the increases for first-round singles matches and qualifying “is designed to help the players who have suffered the most” financially because of the pandemic.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.