Australian Open prize money rises to record levels

 

Australian Open organisers increased prize money for the early losers at the opening grand slam of the season to record levels today, a move which is likely to quell player unrest and end talk of a strike.

The Australian Open will now pay more prize money per round than any other tournament, with increases also coming in doubles and qualifying matches, but mixed doubles saw a money freeze.

The biggest increases were for first round losers in the men's and women's singles, who will now receive A$27,600 ($29,000), representing a 32.7 percent boost from 2012, with those exiting in the second round taking home $45,500, up 36.6 percent.

The move is likely to appease the players council, led by 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer, who had been calling for more revenue from the four elite tournaments to be passed down to those hitting the shots.

"Our motivation is to make a major contribution toward helping ensure professional tennis players can make a decent living," Craig Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director, said in a statement.

"As we have said in the past, it is a real issue and needs to be urgently addressed throughout the sport."

In October, Tiley's team announced that the players would be vying for a share of a record A$30 million for the Jan. 14-27 event without giving the breakdown of how that money would be divided.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus pocketed A$2.3 million each for their singles successes and a repeat next month in Melbourne would give them A$2.43 million.

While the multi millionaires at the top of the game will appreciate the extra rewards, the players scrambling to make the top 100 of the men's and women's rankings and those who mainly compete in doubles will be happier.

MAIN DRAW

At the 2012 event, Israeli doubles veterans Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram shared A$9,500 for their first-round loss to the American Bryan brothers, offering little in the way of winnings once expenses had been taken into account.

A similar result next month will see the pair collect A$12,500.

"That is why the biggest increases are in the earlier rounds, qualifying and doubles which in effect rewards a lot of the lower-ranked players for their achievements which, by the way, should not be undersold,"

"To just reach the main draw of a slam, a professional tennis player has to be among the top 100 in what is one of, if not the most, competitive professional sport in the world," Tiley added.

"At the same time, we also still want to continue to recognise the incredible drawing power and contribution of the top players."

On Monday, the men's governing body, the ATP, gave a lukewarm response to the U.S. Open increasing prize money for the 2013 edition by $4 million to a record $29.5 million.

"The ATP remains committed to continuing discussions on this issue, with the objective of ensuring that the players' share of the revenues at the U.S. Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event," the body said.

Tiley said his team had been in full discussion with the players and tours before announcing their increases with more likely to come

"It is always a balance which is why we undertook unprecedented consultation on this subject with the tours and players who have been extremely supportive," Tiley said.

"We will not be stopping here. There will be more talks and more increases during the next four years. This is just a very positive first step."

Reuters

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week