Skip to main content

Record Australian Open prize money heads off player unrest

October 3, 2012 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has welcomed the big increase in prize money at the grand slam.
Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has welcomed the big increase in prize money at the grand slam.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australian Open boosts prize money for 2013 event to record $31.1 million
  • Move designed to meet concerns of players over breakdown of prize purse
  • Novak Djokovic welcomes decision after winning first round match at China Open
  • Prague to host Davis Cup final between Czech Republic and Spain

(CNN) -- The 2013 Australian Open will boast the biggest prize pool in the history of tennis, organizers announced Tuesday.

The increase of $4.12 million will see players compete for their share of a record $31.1 million in January's tournament in Melbourne.

"We are proud to announce this major increase in prize money," Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood told the official website of the grand slam event.

"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 well being of professional tennis players."

Britain's Andy Murray wins U.S. Open
Rafael Nadal: Drink responsibly
Sloane Stephens looks to Australia Open

Wood revealed that officials will seek the views of ATP Tour players regarding the breakdown of the prize purse to make sure lower ranked players received greater compensation for their efforts.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said he would meet leading players Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in Shanghai this weekend to discuss the issue, which had prompted reports of a possible player boycott of the opening grand slam of the season.

Defending champion Djkokovic, who is playing the China Open in Beijing, welcomed the announcement after a three-set win over German qualifier Michael Berrer Tuesday.

"It's a step forward, definitely," the Serbian, who is a member of the ATP Player Council, told AFP.

"They have clearly shown understanding for players' demands and what the players had to say, so that's really nice to see."

"But it's not over yet," he added. "There are other grand slams that need to react, and we are still in negotiations and we are still doing it behind closed doors."

ATP chief executive Brad Drewett added: "We welcome the increase in prize money for the 2013 Australian Open and acknowledge the ongoing efforts of Tennis Australia to recognise the role of the players in the success of the tournament.

"We also look forward with confidence to continuing these successful discussions with a view to a longer-term understanding."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the third seed in Beijing, was also extended to three sets by Uzbekistan's unseeded Denis Istomin before winning 4-6 6-1 7-6.

Meanwhile, U.S. Open champion Murray, who beat Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, opened his account at the Japan Open with a 7-6 6-4 first-round win over Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.

Like Djokovic, the Scot was playing his first match since the final grand slam of the season as he defends his title in Tokyo.

The final of the Davis Cup between holders Spain and the Czech Republic, will take place at Prague's O2 Arena, organizers announced Tuesday.

A hard court surface will be laid for the match from November 16-18 and it will come hard on the heels of the final of the women's Fed Cup on November 3-4, where holders the Czech Republic take on Serbia at the same venue.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT