By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
October 5, 2012
Australian Open organizers announced they’re increasing the tournament’s prize pool to $31.1 million next year, making it the richest purse in tennis history. The $4.15 million increase over the 2012 purse is the biggest year-over-year rise in compensation in the Australian Open’s history. The decision to make the total prize money more lucrative came amid concerns that players could boycott the season’s first Grand Slam event if the purse wasn’t increased.
Stars including Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have been outspoken against the small payouts for players that lose in early in the tournament. Though actual distribution levels have yet to be determined, most, if not all, of the $4 million increase will go towards players eliminated in the first three rounds. With the move, Grand Slam purses now range from 11% of revenue at the U.S. Open to about 19% at the Australian Open.