TENNIS

Australian Open increases Grand Slam prize money

Both the men and women's champions at the first Grand Slam of the tennis calendar will receive $3.7 million after the overall fund available was raised to Aus$50 million. Nadal-Wawrinka live

Serbia's Novak Djokovic kisses the men's singles trophy after winning his final match against Britain's Andy Murray at the Australian Open
JASON O'BRIEN REUTERS

Next month's Australian Open will offer Aus$50 million (US$36.25 million) in prize money, with the men's and women's singles champions both netting a cool $3.7 million, organisers said on Wednesday.

Great Britain's Andy Murray, the new world number one, will be hoping to add an early Slam to his collection Down Under.

Raising the break-even point

The tournament-record purse, up 14 percent on the 2016 edition, also offers players $50,000 even if they lose in the first round.

'It was especially important for us to increase the compensation for players in the early rounds and qualifying, and this year we have made some real gains,' tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement.

'Our aim is to shift the break-even point for professional players, to ensure that tennis is a viable career option for the best male and female athletes in the world,' he added.

Prize money for qualifying matches at the year's first tennis Grand Slam is up 39 percent, and the $50,000 reward for reaching round one is a rise of 30 percent.

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova will not be involved in the Australian Open after being injured in an attack by a knife-wielding burglar at her home.

How the Grand Slams compare

By comparison, last year's US Open offered a total purse of US$46.3 million, while players won £28.1 million (US$34.7 million) at Wimbledon and 32 million euros (US$33.3 million) at the French Open.