TENNIS: Australian Open boycott threatens tournament

There have been rumours circling in the past week, about a possible boycott of the Australian Open- over yet another pay dispute.

A potential rogue tournament that supposedly would hit Dubai this coming January has already been thwarted, and AO chief Craig Tiley has faith for a successful and uninterrupted 2013 Australian Open.

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Tiley stressed to Tennis Australia: “We’ve paid more prize money than any other event annually.” He also added that the prize money for the upcoming tournament was under review.

However it isn’t without reason that this new furor over prize money has emerged. This pay increase that has been called for, will be given to those that falter in earlier rounds. Only A$2860 is paid out to players that make an early exit in qualifying for the Australian Open, and those that have shock losses in the first and second rounds make only A$20,000 and A$33,300 respectively.

This may seem like a lot, but the ATP Player Council is adament that it does not go far. Players organise their own travel, accomodation, travel and various taxes, as well as year round coaching, medical, and every day household spendings. Some players are often left at a loss after tournaments.

“We sympathise with the players, and we know that making tennis for the lower ranked players something that is more viable, is certainly an attractive thing for our sport,” said Tiley.

Andy Roddick told the Tennis Australia website: “The guys ranked 80 to 90 to 1000 in the world aren’t making the big bucks right now, and they’re paying their own expenses.”
“That is who any action would benefit.”

Matt Walsh.

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