The Australian Open tennis grand slam tournament has increased its total prize money by 14 per cent to Aus$50m (€34.6m/$36.1m) for the 2017 edition.
The winners of the singles tournaments in Melbourne will receive Aus$3.7m, up nine per cent on the 2016 edition. Total prize money for anyone reaching the quarter-final stage onwards will also be up nine per cent.
However, according to tournament director Craig Tiley, most of the increases have been focused on the early rounds of the competition, with first-round losers set to receive Aus$50,000, up 30 per cent, and second-round losers set to pocket Aus$80,000. Players who lose at the third- and fourth-round stages will receive Aus$130,000 and Aus$220,000 respectively.
This year’s Australian Open, which ran from January 18-31 in Melbourne, had a total prize purse of A$44m, up 10 per cent on the previous year. Total prize money has more than tripled since 2001 and risen by Aus$10m since 2014.
Earlier this year the US Open bolstered its position as the most lucrative grand slam tennis tournament by announcing a 10-per-cent increase in prize money to $46.3m for its 2016 edition.
The All England Club, organiser of the Wimbledon Championships, awarded total prize money of £28.1m (€33.7m/$37.1m) for this year’s tournament. The French Tennis Federation had earlier announced a 14-per-cent rise in prize money for the 2016 French Open, which this year amounted to €28m.
The 2017 Australian Open will begin on January 16.