Pay rises are in store for players at January’s Australian Open with organisers on Thursday announcing a 3.4 per cent boost in the total purse to a record Australian $76.5 million (US$51.6 million).
The winners of the men’s and women’s titles at the first Grand Slam of the year will both take home Australian $2.975 million with players beaten in earlier rounds faring better than ever.
Anyone crashing out in round one will receive Australian $106,250, up 3.2 per cent, while second-round players get a similar increase to Australian $158,850.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said the total prize pool for the Australian summer of tennis, which includes Grand Slam warm-up events like the United Cup, would exceed Australian $100 million for the first time.
“It is critical to the continued success of the Australian tennis summer that we provide strong and relevant playing opportunities and ensure that the best players in the world are compensated appropriately,” he said.
“At the Australian Open, we’ve upped prize money for every round from qualifying, through to the finals, with the major increases in the early rounds.
“These substantial rewards help players invest in their own careers and in many cases, set themselves up for success throughout the year.”
Australian Open prize money has increased by more than 321 per cent, or Australian $58.32 million, in the last 20 years, when it was Aus$18.18 million
The Australian Open gets underway at Melbourne Park on January 16.