Equal prize money at Australian Open

The Australian Open said today it will offer equal prize money for the men's and women's tennis draws next year, joining the US Open as the only Grand Slams to do so.

The Australian Open said today it will offer equal prize money for the men's and women's tennis draws next year, joining the US Open as the only Grand Slams to do so.

Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said players will compete for a tournament record prize pool of US $7.5 million, an 11.5 percent increase on last year's total.

The men's prize money has been increased by 10 percent and the women's by 15.8 percent. Winners of the men's and women's singles crowns will now each earn US $450,000.

There were complaints from women players five years ago when Australian Open organizers scrapped their equal pay policy.

"The Women's Tennis Association has been suggesting it for the past couple of years, we've gradually been heading back to equal prize money," Pollard said.

Bart McGuire, chief executive of the WTA tour, said the decision was important move to recognize the strength and appeal of the women's tour.

"Equalizing prize money at the Grand Slams is a major goal," said McGuire. "It is a goal that we have preferred to approach through persuasion and diplomacy rather than through more aggressive means.

"Tennis Australia has responded very positively to our approach, and to the fact that women's tennis has generated record attendance and extraordinary worldwide publicity, as well as dramatically increased television coverage and television ratings."

Top-ranked women's player Martina Hingis said the Australian Open decision is a boost for the game.

"We have all been working on achieving equal prize money for a while and it is great that at the turn of the century, progress has been made," said Hingis. "It is something we deserve and I appreciate that the Australian Open has done this."

American Lindsay Davenport was one of the most vocal critics of higher purses for men at the Grand Slams.

"I think it's great that the Australian Open has gone back to equal prize money," said Davenport. "Women's tennis has certainly proven that it is worth it."

Judy Levering, president of the United States Tennis Association, which runs the US Open, called it a "monumental and necessary decision."

"The US Open has awarded equal prize money for 27 years in the belief that the women's game is just as exciting and as entertaining as the men's game," said Levering. "I know our colleagues Down Under feel the same way. It is a great day for the game."

Earlier this year, Wimbledon rejected women's demands for equal pay when it announced new prize money amounts. The women's overall purse is 84 percent of the men's figure, a move that was heavily criticized by women's tour officials and players.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
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.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?