The organisers of the Australian Open have announced a 10-per-cent increase in the total prize money pool for the 2018 edition of the opening tennis grand slam of the year.
The total figure will rise to Aus$55m (€36.3m/$42.8m) in 2018. The total for this year’s event – Aus$50m – represented a 14-per-cent year-on-year rise. The winners of the singles tournaments in Melbourne will receive Aus$4m next year – up from Aus$3.7m.
In July, the US Open confirmed its position as the most lucrative of the four Grand Slams by announcing that the total prize money for the 2017 tournament would be $50.4m. This year’s Wimbledon Championships featured a prize fund of £31.6m (€35.3m/$41.7m) while the French Open offered a total of €36m.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley also revealed a number of new initiatives for the 2018 edition, including a state-of-the-art ‘player hub’ offering a range of services, a series of functions and special events to take place during qualifying week, 15 days of music events starting on January 14, and new Rockpool Dining Group and Nobu pop-up restaurants on site.
There will also be a zipline through the new AO Ballpark featuring the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots area, including Lego and Nerf zones.
Additionally, Chinese fans will be able to book Australian Open tickets directly from one of China’s leading travel and tourism providers – a first for the tournament.