The prize purse at the upcoming Australian Open will be the biggest in tennis history, reaching the mark of US$31.1 million.
“We are proud to announce this major increase in prize money,” Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO, told the tournament’s official website. “We have led the world in prize money for these incredible athletes and we want to ensure that the Australian Open continues to make a major contribution to the financial wellbeing of professional tennis players.”
The competition’s budget, which was $27 million last year, has been increased by a record $4 million.
The move comes after media reports claimed that the players are planning to boycott the 2013Australian Open and hold an alternative tournament in Dubai in January.
The athletes demanded a bigger cut of prize money from the incomes of the first Grand Slam of the season, which has been less than 20 per cent previously.
The main problem was the small bonuses for those who crashed out in the early rounds after making the long trip to Australia.
The prize money of this year’s US Open was $22 million, while Roland Garros and Wimbledon jointly offered the players $24 million.
However, the early-round remittances were greater in each than for the Australian tournament.