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Historical Prize Money Increase At The Australian Open


When the Australian Open announced a new series of improvements two and a half months ago, this included another historical prize money increase, which hadn’t been broken down just then.


This Thursday, tournament director Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia made the breakdown announcement. After discussions with both the ATP and the WTA, the new numbers came out, and we must say that they will definitely add to the importance of what had been brought forward by the tournament last October.


The Australian Open 2013 prize money breakdown is thus:

  • Almost 15% in each of the qualifying rounds
  • Up to $27,600 for the first-round (32.7% increase)
  • $45,500 for the second-round (36.6% increase)
  • $71,000 for the third-round (30% increase)
  • More than 14% increase on each of the round-of-16, quarter-final, and semi-final rounds
  • The winners (for both ATP and WTA) will earn $2,430,000


In addition to those numbers in the singles, a very important raise has been also decided for the doubles, as the prize money for the first round will be more than 30% bonified, a very significant increase, needless to say.


Australian Open director Craig Tiley explained the reasoning behind the breakdown:


“Our motivation is to make a major contribution toward helping ensure professional tennis players can make a decent living. That is why the biggest increases are in the earlier rounds, qualifying and doubles which in effect rewards a lot of the lower ranked players for their achievements which, by the way, should not be undersold. To just reach the main draw of a Slam, a professional tennis player has to be among the top 100 in what is one of, if not the most, competitive professional sport in the world.”


Again, the Australian Open paves the way for the other three Grand Slams to do the same, and with the issues there are at the moment between the ATP and the USTA over the U.S. Open prize money increase, it puts even more pressure on them all to try and even things out.


There will likely be heated discussions in the months to come. For the moment, however, let’s just rejoice for the players with the Australian Open and Tennis Australia’s decision, especially for the lower-ranked ones, who are the most in need when it comes to the prize money issue.


(Note: the breakdown numbers and quotes are from the official statement from Tennis Australia, which can be found here.)


1 Comment

  1. tennissports tennissports
    5 January, 2013    

    Roger Feder takes on role as backroom power broker (ATP future and situation )

    Roger Federer latest is among the most unexpected, especially for a man raised in a country known for its benign neutrality: backroom power broker.

    But after leading the ATP Tour Player Council as president the last three years, Federer has become a savvy student of the laws of political governance.

    “It’s been a great life-school,” said the tri-lingual Swiss star Sunday as he prepared to defend his season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. “Can you say that?”

    Much of Roger Federer’s behind-the-scenes work this year has focused on persuading the four majors to share a larger piece of the revenue pie with players.
    He has also lobbied that a larger percentage of prize money go to earlier rounds to rectify a growing income distribution gap.

    That work has increasingly fallen on his shoulders, as Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, once Player Council members, left their leadership positions.

    Take his pre-tournament schedule last month at the Masters event.

    Under added security because of death threats, Roger Federer arrived on a Friday and discussed strategy with ATP player and board representatives till about 1 a.m.
    He practiced the next morning, spent about 7 hours in meetings with various representatives of the Grand Slams and still attended the player party Saturday night.

    On Sunday evening, he hosted three hours of meetings in his hotel room with the Player Council, ATP executive staff, and U.S. Open executives — all before he struck a match ball.

    “Roger has so many demands on his schedule and the fact that he is investing so much time into the player council and these negotiations shows his character and how much he cares for the future of the sport,”
    doubles specialist and council member Eric Butorac of the USA wrote in a recent email. “I believe it is very unprecedented to have a top player so involved.”

    Despite threats of a boycott and other hard-line tactics — for tennis — Roger Federer and his fellow players and ATP executives have shepherded successes.

    The French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open each contributed a larger percentage of prize money to earlier rounds this season.

    The Australian Open will do the same in January, and in a pre-emptive strike already announced the biggest year-over-year prize money increase in its history.

    “More important,” Roger Federer said, is the “productive” dialogue taking place.

    “I’m happy that we’ve gotten to the table with the Slams and been able to explain our case,” he said.

    At 31, Roger Federer is brushing up against the usual threshold when age undermines skill, which means every minute and every decision he makes counts.

    In that regard, time management might just be the Swiss’ biggest asset. He seems to have found a formula that works.





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