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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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.

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project