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.)