The organizers of the Australian Open Tennis Championship have decided to offer record-breaking prize money as a way of averting an impending strike during the opening of the 2013 grand slam event. The strike was reportedly mooted by the leading male players.
Reports emerged in August showing that the players were thinking of boycotting the tournament because they had misgivings concerning their payments. The players were said to be complaining that they were paid too little a percentage of the revenue collected from the tournament.
The problem revolved around the prize money awarded to the players who lost at the initial stages, which was not commensurate with the traveling expenses they incurred to go to the tournament.
How Much is to be Paid?
The total prize money expected to be paid out in January in Melbourne is 30 million Australian dollars or 19.3 million pounds, which is four million Australian dollars more than the amount paid in 2012. This will be the highest amount of prize money in the history of tennis.
The prize money paid for the 2012 Wimbledon tennis tournament was 16.06 million pounds and the U.S. Open championship fetched 24,054,000 US dollars, which is equivalent to 14.9 million pounds.
What the Increase Means
Steve Wood, the Chief Executive of Tennis Australia, said they were proud to announce the major increase in the Australian Open prize money. He explained that was a way of ensuring the financial wellbeing of the professional players.
Brad Drewett, the president and executive chairman of ATP, also praised the increase. Drewett said they welcomed the increase and recognized the ongoing efforts that Tennis Australia made in honoring the great role players took in making the tournament succeed. He explained they expected to continue with successful discussions to reach a long-term understanding.
What to Expect at the Tournament
Craig Tiley, the director of the tournament, expressed his confidence that Rafael Nadal’s knee injury will have healed well enough for him to participate in the tournament. The Spanish superstar has not taken part in competitions since the Czech Lukas Rosol defeated him at Wimbledon. Tiley said Rafa was going to be among the numerous great stories in January.
Tiley explained they expected “a formidable title defence” from Novak Djokovic, the reigning men’s champion. They were also looking forward to major challenges from the likes of Andy Murray, the U.S. Open 2012 champion, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Juan Del Potro and David Ferrer.
Apart from the men’s competition, Victoria Azarenka is expected to defend her title in the women’s singles.
The Australian Open Tournament is scheduled to run between January 14 and 27. An electronic monitoring system known as Hawk Eye will be introduced during the tournament for the show courts two and three.
Will the higher prize money influence tickets to the U.S. open tennis 2013?
Image Credit: Christian Mesiano
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