Do they just print money Down Under? Sheesh!
The Age reports the Australian Open, which upped its prize money to over $30 million last week, is shooting to increase that number to $40 million over the next three years.
Just days after Tennis Australia announced an almost 18 percent rise in the prize pool for the 2013 event to ward off the threat of a boycott, The Age has learned that players have been advised that what will hit $30 million in January is likely to grow by a further $10 million within three years. In 2007, the total purse was $20 million.
That’s a game-changing goal, particularly in light of the intent to focus all this money on the early rounds, where the lower-ranked players typically make their exits. While the players get into the nitty-gritty of hammering out the distribution issues, executives at the All England Club, FFT, and USTA must be sweating under the pressure to call or raise, taking a hard look at their numbers to pony up the money over the next few years.
Meanwhile, Tennis Australia comes out of this looking like the players’ white knight. That’s the benefit of being the first Slam of the season. You get to set the tone.