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ATP Shanghai Masters’ $1,200,000 Champion To Be Eclipsed by WTA China Open Winner

Puranjay Dixit

ATP Shanghai Masters' $1,200,000 Champion To Be Eclipsed by WTA China Open Winner

The WTA 1000 China Open and the ATP 1000 Shanghai Masters headline the Asian hard-court swing. The women’s event in Beijing has a massive prize purse on offer, on par with men’s tournaments. The cash reward for the WTA 1000 China Open winner will, in fact, eclipse what the Shanghai Masters winner will receive.

The pay cheques are tilted in ATP’s favor in all tournaments in the tennis calendar. The China Open and the Shanghai Masters are the only comparable 1000-level events in terms of prize money offered. The WTA tournament in Beijing offers a higher reward than its ATP 1000 counterpart. However, all subsequent 500-level events again stick to the norm of having lower payouts for women.

WTA 1000 China Open eclipses ATP Shanghai Masters

The Shanghai Masters has returned to the ATP Calendar after four years. It is the penultimate 1000 tournament and will see a lot of big names participate. The total prize pool for the event is $8,800,000, as per the official website. The singles winner will pocket a cool $1,262,220 while the runner-up will take home  $662,360. A first-round exit will see a player earn $18,660. This is a slight decline from 2019 when the Shanghai Masters was last held.

The WTA China Open is also back on the calendar after a similar gap. This is the last 1000-level tournament for women, hence, almost all the star players are set to feature. The combined prize money is $8,127,389, according to the WTA website.

The winner of the China Open will receive $1.5 million, the largest paycheck ever in any tennis event other than the WTA Finals. The figures for other positions are yet to be officially announced. However, the payout for the WTA 1000 champion in Beijing is significantly is comparable to other ATP 100 events, and much higher than the Shanghai Masters.

With the WTA Finals on the horizon, the China Open will see all the top women players participating. The tournament was not played in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and barred in 2022 following Chinese player Peng Shuai’s disappearance. Each of the top 30 players will play in the WTA 1000 event. Defending champion Naomi Osaka, though, will not be present following her maternity break. Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will lead the pack in the elite tournament.

The ATP and WTA 1000s in China remain an outlier

The pay parity between the ATP and WTA 1000 tournaments in the Asian swing is an exceptional case. The norm otherwise tips the scale heavily in favor of the men. The Cincinnati Open, for example, offers the WTA champion less than half of what it gives the ATP winner despite being a Masters event for both. Both tours have a 500-level competition scheduled right after their Masters event. The cash prize disparity starts from there itself.

The WTA 500 Zhengzhou Open, scheduled to begin one day after the China Open, has paltry prize pool of $780,637. The ATP 500 Japan Open, which also starts a day after the Shanghai Masters, offers a much larger cash reward. The tournament in Tokyo has $2,013,940 up for grabs, nearly three times the WTA event of the same level. The singles winner in Tokyo will take home $376,620, almost half of the entire pool on offer for the WTA 500 in Zhengzhou.

The men’s China Open, an ATP 500 event, carries a prize money of $3,633,875. Meanwhile, no WTA 500 tournament on the 2023 calendar offered over a $1 million combined. This disparity is a long-standing norm in tennis. Efforts are being made to cover the gap but so far, the WTA 1000 China Open remains the only comparable WTA tournament.

About the author

Puranjay Dixit

Puranjay Dixit


Puranjay is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush. He has written more than 300 articles on the sport. Ask him anything about tennis and he is ready to come up with well-crafted answers. He has been following tennis ever since his parents introduced him to the game when he was 10. His favourite player may be Rafael Nadal, but ask him who's the GOAT, and he'll say, Novak Djokovic. He may be pursuing a degree in an unrelated field, but creating quality sports content remains his first love.

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