SBD/October 2, 2012/Events and Attractions

Australian Open To Offer Event's Largest Prize Money Pool For '13 Event

Wood is committed to making a contribution to player compensation and conditions
The Australian Open announced the “single biggest prize money jump in its long history, with a record prize money pool” of $30M (all figures Australian) -- up $4M from the '12 event, according to Linda Pearce of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The move is “designed to avoid the mooted strike from the world's best men agitating for a greater share of tournament revenue, but organisers remain resolute in refusing to offer a fixed percentage share of the grand slam's income.” Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said that the prize money breakdown “would be released after consultation with the players.” But a redistribution to give a “higher percentage to those who lose in the early and qualifying rounds is guaranteed, bringing the Open into line with the other grand slams.” Wood said, "Our business will suffer from pain as we go to achieve this, but we are committed to making a contribution, a major contribution, to the compensation and the conditions of the players on tour -- and I think $30 million is a major contribution" (SMH.com.au, 10/2). In Melbourne, Bruce Matthews notes most of the extra prize money “will be distributed in the first week of the 14-day championship, particularly to the losers in the first three rounds of men's and women's singles.” There also will be “an allocation for the pre-tournament qualifying events.” Wood said, "We're going to be consulting with the players on what sort of distribution they would like, to see how they would like to carve up the $30M prize money. It's important to reward the players, particularly the lower-ranked players. Right before we go live at the Australian Open, we'll be announcing how we distribute the prize money" (HERALDSUN.com.au, 10/2).
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