British number two player Andy Murray has pledged to donate all of his prize money from the week’s three matches on Sunday to help raise awareness of the mental health of the game’s players.
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Murray is one of tennis’s highest-earning players, with his highest current earnings of £4.23m ($5.76m) coming from his ongoing endorsement deals. He has also made several generous donations to charities over the years, such as the time he fronted the Pro-Motion sponsorship programme for wheelchair tennis.
While the 2013 US Open winner and Wimbledon champion isn’t allowed to financially assist family members in their sport, he will donate the prize money from his final match of the week to the World Suicide Prevention Day.
“I’m proud to take this stand and support such a worthy cause,” Murray said in a statement. “This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on men, and it’s great to see more and more men talking openly about mental health and developing healthy relationships. My winnings this week will help the International Association of Athletics Federations with their cause and I hope that my fans will join me on this important day.”
Murray has struggled with the mental breakdowns that a lot of players experience. He revealed his struggle with depression last year, speaking out in an interview with the BBC after winning Wimbledon. He credited his wife, Kim, with being supportive during his rough times.
“Tennis can be very competitive,” he said at the time. “When you get off the court and you’re not looking at the scoreboard, you lose your perspective of what’s really important. And I certainly got quite a lot down, I mean quite depressed, off the court.”
According to the mental health charity Rethink, suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged 10 to 14 in the UK. Murray has a good support system when he is feeling the despair in tennis, but a heavy schedule can be tough. Other former grand slam champions Phil Mickelson and Billy Mayhew had similar struggles.