Record prize money for Australian Open 2015

The total prize money at the 2015 Australian open will be an all-time high of £21.5m

The Australian Open has announced its second increase in prize money since the 2014 tournament, taking the total purse to an all-time high of A$40m (£21.5m).

Men and women singles winners will each get A$3.1 million (£1.7m) while a first-round loser will receive A$34,500 (£18,500).

Officials said they wanted to ensure that player compensation was not eroded by the weaker Australian dollar. Last October, the prize pool was increased from its 2014 level of A$33 million (then equivalent to £18.3m but now worth £17.7m) to A$36.3m (£19.5m).

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley explained: “Obviously this is not a decision we have taken without a lot of consideration. But we have an ongoing commitment to the players that we are determined to help improve the pay and conditions of life on the international tennis tour.

“We are honouring that commitment. We as an international tennis community still have some work to do in ensuring that the life of an international professional tennis player is properly compensated. This increase is simply the Australian Open honouring our pledge to the players that we will continue to look at all ways and means possible to get this right. That involves increasing prize money as well as cutting and where possible removing the costs associated with playing our events.”

Tennis Australian President Steve Healy added: “We have done a lot of work within our business to position ourselves to make this critical investment in the players and for the long term future of the Australian Open.”

The Australian Open was the first Grand Slam to respond to growing discontent among the professional players about the insufficient proportion of the Grand Slam profits going back to the players themselves. The tournament increased its prize money in 2013 from $26m to $30 million (£14m to £16.1m) as the first stage in an agreement for a series of annual rises.

The Australian Open has also invested heavily in the tournament’s infrastructure, making it the first Major to feature three covered show courts. The newest, Margaret Court arena, will be inaugurated this week.

2014 Grand Slam purses, in equivalent sterling:

Australian Open: £18.3 million (now worth £17.7 million)
French Open: £20.6 million
Wimbledon: £25 million
US Open: £24 million

2015:

Australian Open: October increase, £19.5 million, now increased to £21.5 million.

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