The Australian Open has announced the single biggest prizemoney jump in its long history, with a record prizemoney pool of A$30 million - up A$4 million from 2012 - on offer at next year's event.
The move is designed to avoid the mooted strike from the world's best men agitating for a greater share of tournament revenue, but organisers remain resolute in refusing to offer a fixed percentage share of the grand slam's income.
Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood said the prizemoney breakdown would be released after consultation with the players.
But a redistribution to give a higher percentage to those who lose in the early and qualifying rounds is guaranteed, bringing the Open into line with the other grand slams.
Wimbledon and the French Open, for example, this year lifted first-round prizemoney by 26 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
The 2013 Australian Open will be played from January 14-27.
Wood today said the rise was the biggest single prizemoney jump in the sport’s history.
‘‘We certainly didn’t make this decision lightly,’’ he said.
‘‘Indeed, our business will suffer from pain as we go to achieve this, but we are committed to making a contribution, a major contribution, to the compensation and the conditions of the players on tour - and I think A$30 million is a major contribution.’’
Wood promised ‘‘the fairest method of distribution’’ to aid lower-ranked players.
- The Age