Australian Open 2017: Prize purse hits record A$50 million

The winners of the singles tournaments of the Australian Open in 2017 will earn A$3,700,000

Marianne Bevis

The Australian Open, tennis’s first Grand Slam of the year, will offer a record prize purse of A$50 million when it gets under way in Melbourne on 16 January 2017. Each singles champion will earn a record A$3.7 million.

The total fund represents a 14 percent increase over 2016 and, as has become the trend at all the Majors in the last few years, it will be the qualifying and early-round losers who enjoy the biggest percentage rise.

In making the announcement today, Tournament Director Craig Tiley explained: “It was especially important for us to increase the compensation for players in the early rounds and qualifying… We are constantly reviewing ways to improve the life of every player on tour, not just the top 100. This includes increasing prize money as well as removing as many costs as possible associated with playing our events.

“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.

“In 2017, prize money for all three qualifying rounds has increased an impressive 39 percent, with A$25,000 for players losing in the final round. First round prize money is up 30 percent, there’s a 19 percent increase in the second round, and losers in the third round will be 20 percent better off.

“Compensation of this magnitude recognises the elite level these athletes have achieved and allows them to invest more in their own careers, which includes funding their own travel, coaches and conditioning expenses.”

Australian Open prize money in a nutshell (figures in Australian dollars)

· Prize money more than tripled since 2001, when it was $13.9 million

· $10 million increase in the past two years

· 39 percent increase in prize money across all rounds of qualifying

· 30 percent increase in first round prize money

· 19 percent increase in second round prize money

· 20 percent increase in third round prize money

· 14 percent increase in fourth round prize money

· 9 percent increase for quarter-finals, semi-finals, runner-up and winner

o Winner $3,700,000

o Runner-up $1,850,000

o Semi-final $820,000

o Quarter-final $410,000

o Round 4 $220,000

o Round 3 $130,000

o Round 2 $80,000

o Round 1 $50,000

o Qual Round 3 $25,000

o Qual Round 2 $12,500

o Qual Round 1 $6,250

Equivalent Grand Slam prize money 2016 (in sterling)

Australian Open: Total £23.4 million; Singles champions £1.8 million

French Open: Total £25.4 million; Singles champions £1.6 million

Wimbledon: Total £28.1 million; Singles champions £2 million

US Open: Total £37.4 million; Singles champions £2.8 million

Australian Open 2017: Total £29.3 million; Singles champions £2.2 million

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