Australian Open organisers have moved to avert any players' boycott by announcing a 15 per cent jump in prize money to more than £19m next year. Players were protest-
ing about the proportion of revenues paid out in prize money by the four Grand Slam events and want to see more for players who lose in the early rounds.
The increase was welcomed by Brad Drewett, head of the Association of Tennis Professionals, and will put pressure on the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open to increase their prize pools next year.
Steve Wood, the chief executive of Tennis Australia, said: "It was really just time to listen to what the players are telling us."
The British No 1 Laura Robson went out of the China Open yesterday, beaten 7-5, 6-3 in the second round by Lourdes Dominguez Lino, the world No 64. The first set went with serve until the Spaniard took the first break point of the match in the 12th game. The 18-year-old world No 57, who had serving problems in the second set, was hoping to move into the world top 50 after China.