Do Players Pay To Enter Tournaments? (Get To Know If Tennis Players Pay To Enter Tournaments!)

Last Updated on October 28, 2023 by Alex PT

No, tennis players do not pay to enter tournaments. Instead, they receive prize money for their performance, and the tournaments are funded by sponsorships and ticket sales.

Ways to Enter Pro Tennis Tournaments Top Tennis Players Who Have Used These Ways to Enter Tournaments
WildcardRoger Federer 
QualifyingWilliams Sisters
Direct EntryRafael Nadal

Do Tennis Players Pay To Enter Tournaments?

Tennis players at the top level do not pay to enter tournaments. They are paid to play in tournaments. The prize money for tennis tournaments can be very large, especially for the Grand Slam tournaments.

For example, the winner of the 2023 US Open will receive $2.6 million. Even players who lose early in tournaments can still earn a significant amount of money.

However, at the lower levels of professional tennis, players may have to pay to enter tournaments. This is because the prize money is much smaller at these levels and tournaments need to cover their costs.

The entry fee for lower-level tournaments can vary depending on the size and prestige of the tournament. For example, the entry fee for an ITF World Tennis Tour tournament is typically around $40.

There are a few reasons why tennis players at the top level do not have to pay to enter tournaments:

  • Tournaments can generate revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships. This means that they do not need to charge players an entry fee to cover their costs.
  • Top tennis players are a valuable commodity. They attract large crowds and generate a lot of media attention. This means that tournaments are willing to pay players to participate in their events.
  • Top tennis players have a lot of bargaining power. They can negotiate with tournament organizers to get paid to play in tournaments.

Tennis players at the lower levels of the sport do not have the same bargaining power as top players. This means that they may have to pay to enter tournaments to compete. However, there are many ways that lower-level players can offset the cost of entry fees, such as:

  • Getting sponsorships. Players can get sponsorships from individuals, businesses, or organizations that are willing to help them cover the costs of competing.
  • Qualifying for tournaments. Many tournaments offer qualifying rounds for lower-ranked players. Players who qualify for a tournament do not have to pay the entry fee.
  • Applying for grants. Several organizations offer grants to help lower-level tennis players cover the costs of competing.

Overall, the cost of entering tennis tournaments can vary depending on the level of the tournament. Top tennis players do not have to pay to enter tournaments, while lower-level players may have to pay an entry fee. However, there are several ways that lower-level players can offset the cost of entry fees.

How “Wildcard” Entry Way Works

When a tennis player’s ranking did not qualify him for the main draw position, they got lucky enough to have been awarded a spot in the main draw earmarked for a wild card.  A prefix with “WC” is usually attached to such a player’s name in this case. The director of the tournament typically awards the wildcards and it is solely dependent on his/her discretion as to who deserves to get the spot. The number of wildcards is not that big for a typical draw. It is usually between two to four. In cases of a major with a 128-player draw, there are usually right wildcard spots.  

How “Qualifying” Entry Way Works

In this case, the tennis player needs to play one or more rounds or probably matches in a qualifying competition and then be awarded a spot in the major draw that was earmarked as a qualifying spot. In this case, in the draw, such a player’s name will have a prefix wait for a “Q”. The size of the main draw usually determines the number of qualifying spots in the main draw. For instance, in a major, naturally, sixteen spots are reserved for qualifiers in the main draw of 128 players. Normally, the current ranking of players determines how they will be chosen for qualifying rounds. So, players that are placed into qualifying tournaments are those that are ranked high enough. Pre-qualifying rounds (which is made accessible by absolutely anyone eligible to participate by paying the entry fee or being a professional) are also held by some tournaments. This entryway is what is used by the very beginning professionals or probably the ones recovering from injuries, to get back into tournaments. 

How “Direct Entry” Way Works

This is mostly a common way that renowned professionals use to enter tournaments. Since they have a high current ranking, it guarantees them a spot in the main draw of any tournament. There is sometimes a prefix attached to their names with their seed or ranking number. The player’s ranking that will be considered should not be more than two to three weeks prior to the commencement of the tournament, so there may be differences between their current ranking and ranking going into the tournament depending on If they had played in a competition between the commencement of the tournament and when entries were finalized.  

“Lucky Loser” is another way a tennis player can get into the main draw. It means that the player who won defeated them to go bag a spot as a qualifier in the main draw had to renounce from the competition because of injuries, health problems or other personal reasons, just before the first round began, so the defeated player would represent the player who withdrew from the tournament.  

Is There An Entry Fee For US Open Tennis? 

If you’ve not started paying as a member, then all you need to do is become a member of the USTA, which is the United States Tennis Association website. It is through the USTA’s Tennis link that you can register for a qualifying tournament after completing your registration as a member. About the entry fees, it will cost you around $45 to $100 according to the 2014 pay plan. As a single-player, you may be allowed to register for only one tournament, but as part of a doubles team, you can go on to register at a separate tournament. For tournaments that’ll take place from April to July, the registration closes in mid-March, and registration is capped at 128 doubles teams and 256 singles. The USTA usually holds a package within 24-48 hours before the registration is closed if more players are interested in registering than available slots. Mostly, if you’re not selected, your money will certainly be refunded. 

How it is done

Single-elimination matches playing to the best-of-three tie-breaking sets are included in the qualifying tournament. Winning the qualifying competition is just the initial step in getting into the U.S. Open. The wild card entry into the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament will be awarded to winners of the women’s and men’s singles in each qualifying competition. The wild card entry into the U.S. Open Mixed Doubles Championship, which happens in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be awarded to the assorted doubles winner of each qualifying competition. Both competitions take place in August right before the U.S. Open. You will have to overcome your way of through some stiff competition to go into the big tournament.

Do Tennis Players Get Paid If They Lose

Yes, of course. Most tennis players will get all the money allocated for a loser at every stage. There’s no match fee as such. It means that they still get paid some token for participation even if they were beaten in the first elimination rounds. 

Do Tennis Players Pay For Travel? 

Certainly! They do. Tennis players cover all their travel expenses and also need to pay their coaches. This means that they won’t keep all their earnings. We heard about some tennis players who spend around $200,000 a year on their expenses. 

How Much Do Tennis Players Make Per Match?

Top-tier tennis players like the Williams sisters Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic earn huge money from a combination of appearance fees, endorsement deals with top brands like Nike and Adidas, and competition prize money. If you’re a very good tennis player and you made it to the U.S. Open, you will likely make more money within a day than what an average player will make in a whole year. 

Tennis Tournament Requirements 

United States Tennis Association licenses the United States tennis tournaments played by professional tennis players. The body responsible for improving junior players and governing the pro tennis circuit is the USTA. Playing games may constitute only a small part of the job since tennis is a seasonal sport. You’ll locate tennis stars like Roger Federer and Nadal in the gym most of the time, working on fitness and strength, spending fewer days practicing, and also drilling match tactics under the influence of a coach. 

Education Requirements

Academic qualifications are not pertinent to a tennis player’s success but he or she has to have at least a high school diploma. Consistent coaching, and starting at a very young age is what is more important to the success of a player. The Junior competitions coordinated by the USTA help them enhance their skills and also secure a junior ranking. A player is eligible to turn into a pro when he’s winning at a very high level. 

It is hardly possible to calculate what a regular tennis player’s salary would be since the salary is dependent on the number of competitions he achieves, which determines the amount of sponsorship offers he gets. For instance, on Forbes’ 2017 overview of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Roger Federer is positioned as No.4. By comparison, in May 2016, $47,710 was the median yearly earnings for those pro sports rivals. The median income will be the income that half the professional tennis players earned much more than that half as well as the total earned less. In 2016, the top ten percentage tier of sports stars earned over $208,000.


Tennis players compete both nationally and on the global stage in professional tennis competitions. They follow the competition season which takes place during the summer in the U.S and work irregular schedules including evenings, holidays, and weekends. During the off-season, tennis players may have little competition. Nevertheless, they are currently expected to work forty hours a week or more as they perfect their games, train, and practice. 

Do The Years Of Experience Count?

Your salary of is more about just how talented you are and the number of tournaments you win, though you might bring in more cash with expertise and time. To make this a little context, $15,000 to $25,000 in prize money is offered to male tournaments on the USTA Futures pro circuit, aimed at the best college as well as junior players. The equivalent figure is $75,000 to $125,000 for seasoned pro players. Qualifiers for the U.S. Open – primarily the top hundred players on the planet – take home $50,000 simply for the very first event of theirs. Which figures rise considerably as a player advances through the rounds. The victor received $3,700,000 in 2017. 

Job Growth Trend

The work of sports competitors typically is projected to grow 7% by 2026, which presents roughly 900 new tasks. Though you’d expect the sport to stay within the common trend, you will find no particular figures for tennis players. An expanding public along with its ongoing interest in professional sports is the primary cause of expansion in this particular field. It is actually up to the person how well they do, just like all competent sporting careers. The amount of job openings is usually outnumbered by the amount of gifted young athletes hoping to play professionally.

Final Words

We’ve come to the end of this article. We hope you were able to find resources in your quest to know if tennis players pay to enter tournaments. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Leave a Comment