Fans will be able to apply online to enter the Wimbledon ticket ballot for 2020 after organisers announced an end to the postal application system in operation since 1924

Fans will no longer need to use pen, paper and a stamped addressed envelope to apply for Wimbledon tickets after the grass-court showpiece announced an end to a 95-year tradition.

The move to an online ballot from 2020 was among several changes confirmed by the All England Club on Tuesday.

Prize money will increase by 11.8% this year, with the total pot at the Grand Slam standing at £38m.

The men’s and women’s singles champions will win £2.35m, a rise of £100,000.

Prize money for early-round losers will increase by more than 10%, while there is also a double-digit increase for men’s and women’s doubles.

The new retractable roof over Court One will be in operation this year but the shot-clock – used at January’s Australian Open – will not be.

But the device, which counts down the seconds allowed between points, is “very likely” to be introduced from 2020, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) chief executive Richard Lewis told a news conference.

Meanwhile, the wheelchair event has been expanded to include quad singles and doubles after a trial last year.

This year’s grass-court Grand Slam runs from 1 to 14 July.

Going digital

Since 1924 Wimbledon has sold the majority of its tickets through a postal ballot, which requires fans to send a stamped addressed envelope to receive an application form, which they then need to post back to the All England Club to enter the ballot.

The completed forms need to be returned by the end of the December before the July championships and fans cannot apply for specific dates or courts.

The system is set to remain the same for the online application, just without the paper and stamps.

The new online ballot does not affect the popular queue – where people often camp overnight to buy on-the-day tickets.

Prize money increases

Angelique Kerber and Novak Djokovic took home £2.25m each for winning the Wimbledon singles titles in 2018

Wimbledon has once again announced higher percentage increases in prize money for players who go out in the first three rounds of the main draw or in qualifying.

“It is a clear demonstration, once again, of our continued commitment to do what we can for players for whom it will have the most impact,” AELTC chairman Philip Brook said.

Since 2011, the prize money for first-round losers has increased almost four fold, from £11,500 to £45,000.

Meanwhile, if Britain’s Jamie Murray wins the men’s doubles title this year, he would share £540,000 with his partner, which is a rise of 20% compared to last year.

Selected Wimbledon prize money
Singles champions£2.35m+4.4% (compared to 2018)
First-round singles loser£45,000+15.4%
Doubles champions£540,000+20%
Mixed doubles champions£116,000+5.5%
Wheelchair singles champions£46,000+15%
Wheelchair doubles champions£18,000+28.6%
Total prize money£38m+11.8%

A Wimbledon wildcard for Murray?

Wimbledon is still in the dark about whether British two-time champion Andy Murray will be playing there this year.

The 31-year-old Scot is recovering after a hip resurfacing operation in January, which he had said could end his career.

He has since said he feels no pressure to return to tennis but that he will try if his body will allow it.

The 2013 and 2016 champion could use his protected ranking to enter Wimbledon but may opt to apply for a wildcard to save that ranking for another event.

AELTC chief executive Lewis told BBC Sport that while the deadline for Murray to apply for a wildcard was 18 June, “it’s not unprecedented for us to allow players a bit more time to see whether an existing injury clears up”.

What are the other changes for 2019?

At last year’s championships, the trusses for the new roof for Court One were waiting to be installed

Among other changes announced on Tuesday was that play on the outside courts will begin half an hour earlier than previously, at 11:00 BST, and four more courts will offer Hawk-Eye technology for line calls.

The capacity of the grounds will rise to 42,000, an increase of 3,000 following the completion of work to put a roof on Court One.

The cost of the project, which comes 10 years after Wimbledon installed a retractable roof over Centre Court, has not been disclosed but Brook said it had been completed on time and on budget.

The roof will be tested at a tennis and music exhibition event on 19 May, which will be broadcast live on the BBC and raise money for a homeless fund set up by the Wimbledon Foundation.

Organisers also announced plans for a greener championships, by using only 100% recycled and recyclable water bottles and scrapping plastic bags from its racquet-stringing operation.

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