The French Open women's champion earned $27 in 1968—here's how much she'll win this year

Sloane Stephens celebrates after her semifinal win at the 2018 French Open
THOMAS SAMSON | Getty Images

Top seeded Simona Halep and No. 10 seed Sloane Stephens will face off in the 2018 French Open final on Saturday. Halep, 26, is looking to capture her first ever Grand Slam title, while Stephens, 25, is hoping to secure her second overall major and first French Open.

And a record €2.2 million (about $2.6 million) in prize money is on the line. That's about a 5 percent jump from what last year's winner took home. Saturday's runner up will earn a cool €1.12 million (about $1.3 million).

In 1968, the start of tennis' professional era, French Open champ Nancy Richey was supposed to take home 5,000 francs — the equivalent of about about $7,100 today, the New York Times reports — but since she was still an amateur, she couldn't claim the prize money.

"The USLTA [United States Lawn Tennis Association] kept us players from receiving prize money that year; they were holding on to the amateur game to the last breath," Richey told the Times. "I had to play for a $27-a-day per diem from the USTLA, and I had a hard time getting it from them." In other words, the French Open champ collected $27, her daily allowance, for winning the Grand Slam.

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Since Richey's win in 1968, the prize money at the French Open has not only skyrocketed, but women also achieved prize money parity in 2006.

Here's how much the French Open women's champions earned every five years, courtesy of BBC, in both British Pounds and U.S. dollars (the exact amounts could have been different depending on exchange rates for that year), starting in 1968:

1968: £422 or $566

1973: £2,305 or $3,091

1978: £11,576 or $15,523

1983: £34,516 or $46,284

1988: £145,819 or $195,536

1993: £296,103 or $397,059

1998: £364,848 or $489,243

2003: £566,566 or $759,737

2008: £794,989 or $1.07 million

2013: £1.27 million or $1.70 million

2018: £1.93 million or $2.59 million

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