Australian Open continues to up grand slam prize money stakes

Australian Open organisers have announced a 10 per cent increase in prize money for the 2016 tournament, continuing the ongoing financial trend between the hosts of the four tennis grand slam events.

The 2016 Australian Open, which will run from January 18-31 in Melbourne, will feature A$44m (€27.4m/$30.8m) in total prize money. This year’s Australian Open offered a record prize purse of A$40m, with Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams winning the respective singles titles.

US Open organisers continued the prize money race between the grand slams by announcing a 10.5 per cent increase for the 2015 tournament to $42.3m (€38.4m). The announcement meant the 2015 US Open broke the $40m barrier for the first time and also surpassed Wimbledon as the richest grand slam event.

This year’s edition of Wimbledon offered a total of £26.75m (€37.7m/$41.5m), a mark that had been the highest of the four grand slam tournaments. The 2015 French Open featured a total prize purse of €28m ($30.9m), up 12 per cent on the previous year.

The latest prize money increase for the Australian Open was announced as the event was officially launched with ceremonies in Melbourne and Shanghai, China. Organisers are making a concerted effort to tap into the Chinese market and have signed a strategic partnership with the Shanghai Masters tournament, while a new platform is set to be launched on the WeChat social media platform that will have a potential audience of more than 600 million in China.