With badminton’s most lucrative tournament wrapped up, we take a look at what players have raked in the most cash in history for a single week of winning badminton matches.
By Don Hearn. Photos: Badmintonphoto
Last week at the Superseries Finals, Viktor Axelsen joked that winning the men’s singles title “would mean that I will give good Christmas presents”. Given that Axelsen did indeed win, his friends and family are presumably enjoying an exceptional Christmas but as they do, we will take a look at where he and the other Dubai winners figure into the list of all-time biggest one-week badminton pay-offs.
Actually, the biggest cheques handed out on any given badminton Sunday go to doubles winners but it is only on occasions like last Sunday that a doubles player actually goes home richer than the singles champions. In this case, Chen Qingchen won twice as many matches as Axelsen or Tai Tzu Ying and pocketed just a few thousand more in prize money. Actually, Chen is the only doubles player who made it onto our list of the top 19 while staying undefeated for a week.
Obviously, the new million-dollar prize purse put up for the Superseries Finals in Dubai is responsible for most of the happy Christmases implied by the list below. After all, Christinna Pedersen worked very hard three years ago, winning ten matches and taking two titles but she still grossed less than $50,000 for her doubles double in the 2013 Superseries Finals. However, it was the advent of the Superseries Premier level in 2011 that first favoured a fortunate few with more than fifty thousand for their efforts.
The biggest one-week badminton pay-days
Note: The above numbers reflect only pre-tax prize money, as reported in each tournament prospectus. They do not include appearance money or any bonus money from sponsors or national associations.