Organizers of the Australian Open have announced a raft of changes to next year’s grand slam, including increased prize money and lower ticket prices.
Prize money at Melbourne will be increased by 10 per cent, taking the total pool to A$60.5m ($42.81m), split equally between the men’s and women’s tournaments.
The entry-level price of tickets to Margaret Court Arena and Rod Laver Arena have been reduced by A$15 to A$62, while the cost of tickets to the men’s and women’s finals have been slashed by a third, to make the event more affordable for families.
Matches on all courts will have electronic line-judging for the first time and – following the US Open – a 25-second ‘serve clock’ to avoid time-wasting.
There will also be a bigger qualifying draw for women, up from 96 to 128 players, to bring it in line with the men.