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SBD Global/October 11, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Open Revenue Talks Look Positive, No Player Boycott

Novak Djokovic returns a shot during the 2012 Australian Open final.
Australian Open officials said that they "held constructive talks with players pressing for a greater share of revenue" at the tournament, according to the AFP. Tennis Australia CEO Steve Woods said that he met representatives of the ATP and Player Council on Thursday at the Shanghai Masters "about a fairer distribution of the prize money, and talks were productive." Woods said, "We have talked about our long-term plans for player compensation, including further significant increases, and the feedback we have received from the ATP and the players has been positive." Players Council President Roger Federer on Sunday "cautiously welcomed the move to boost prize money but said he was not sure it was significant enough to quell player unrest over the long-running row" (AFP, 10/11). In Sydney, Linda Pearce noted British competitor Andy Murray is "pleased there will be no player boycott" even though he never considered such a "drastic move." Murray said, "I never viewed striking at the Australian Open as a real option. From all the players I've spoken to so far, everyone's been very happy with the increases in the prize money and their plan over the next few years, as well" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/12).

THE RIGHT DIRECTION: In London, Paul Newman wrote the "general view among players was that Tennis Australia had responded well to complaints that the competitors' share of the revenues generated by all four of the Grand Slam tournaments was too small." Murray said, "From our side, it's definitely going in the right direction. All the conversations we've had with [the Australian Open] have been fairly positive." He added: "They've really been the first ones to step up. I think for the players it's important to remember the amount that they've invested in the facilities there, as well. It's not just always the prize money" (INDEPENDENT, 10/11).
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