Ukrainian World No 5 Elina Svitolina said the drop in WTA prize money has reduced her motivation at some events but added that players must learn to adjust their expectations.
Seeded No 1 at the Dubai Championships this week, Svitolina headlines a stacked field at the WTA 1000 tournament, which is being staged behind closed doors.
The total prize money on offer in Dubai this year has gone down from $27,94,840 last season to $18,35,490, with the singles champion set to take home $2,21,500 instead of the $6,96,860 paycheck scooped by the winner 12 months ago.
That’s a 68 percent decrease in the prize money for the singles champion.
The trend is expected to continue in the coming months, with only the Grand Slams still able to award the players huge sums.
“I had to adjust, like for example with my team, with my daily life,” Svitolina told reporters in Dubai. “Maybe be a little bit smarter and I think for everyone it’s important to readjust because right now there is definitely a significant change in the prize money.
“I think it’s really not easy for some players to adjust and for me, personally, it’s maybe also a little bit (tough) right now, because we’re a bit spoiled from the years that the prize money was really high.”
The 26-year-old, who owns 15 WTA titles and has amassed more than $20 million in prize money throughout her career, noted that the recent developments could have an impact on her scheduling.
“Now for sure 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 afterwards to play a big one, so you would skip it,” she said.
“So that, for sure, plays a little role in the motivation, in my opinion. Hopefully we can step by step improve and get back to where we were before.”