TENNIS: A crucial win off the court

Tennis Australia have recently announced that it will increase the prize money for the upcoming 2013 Australian Open.  This is extremely important after a potential boycott from players was threatening to servery effect the first Grand Slam of the year.

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(Rafael Nadal practicing on Rod Laver Arena)

The total prize money offered to the players at all the Grand Slams this year were: Australian Open AUD$26,000,000, French Open AUD$23,278,863, Wimbledon AUD$22,819,371 and US Open AUD$23,311,631.

Although Australia lead the way in prize money many players believed that there needed to be an increase to ensure their welfare.  Australia will offer a substantial increase of AUD$4,000,000 which will equate to AUD$30,000,000.

Australia also take pride in offering equal prize to the women’s and men’s singles champions with both receiving AUD$2,300,000 each. 

The increase in prize money is not only a win for the players contesting the Australian Open next year but a win for Tennis Australia.  The tournament organisers have moved swiftly to rectify any concerns the players had and negotiate with player representatives.

It was not about responding to the boycott threat but responding to the concerns that players had.  Instead of avoiding the issue Tennis Australia was on the front foot and willing to enter in discussions with the players.

The specific prize money distribution for earlier rounds is yet to be confirmed but tournament director Craig Tiley believes players were appreciative of the announcement.

“The Australian Open has again stepped up”, he said at the tournament launch at Melbourne Park.

The ATP player council including Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will be meeting with Tiley in Shanghai.  It proves to be a productive meeting and with three months to go until the tournament confirm the end to the boycott threat.  

In addition to the prize money announcement, Tiley also revealed that five courts will be using the Hawk-Eye technology and that plans to construct a third roof on Margaret Court Arena are moving along nicely.

 

Sean Munaweera is a Sport Journalism student at La Trobe University.  Follow his in depth analysis on Tennis, AFL and other sports on Twitter: @sean_muna

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