Organizers of the Australian Open have increased the event's prize money to a record $31.1 million for 2013 in response to player concerns about compensation at Grand Slam tournaments. Stage one of the $360 million-plus redevelopment of Melbourne Park is currently underway and set for completion in 2015.
“We are proud to announce this major increase in prize money," said Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood. "We have led the world in prize money for these incredible athletes and we want to ensure that the Australian Open continues to make a major contribution to the financial wellbeing of professional tennis players."
Wood noted that Tennis Australia officials would seek further input from the playing group regarding a more equitable distribution of prize money to help ensure financial viability for lower ranked players. The $4 million hike is the biggest single increase in the history of the event.
Other additions to the 2013 Australian Open include:
►Andre Agassi to present the men's championship trophy
►Hawk-Eye to be introduced on Show Courts 2 and 3
►New practice and recovery facilities for players, including eight new clay courts in the new National Tennis Centre
►An expanded Australian Open Trophy Tour throughout Australia, China and Japan
►The inaugural Asia-Pacific Australian Open Wildcard Playoff (to be held in China)
►The new Edwin Flack footbridge connecting the MCG with Melbourne Park and AAMI Park
►An expanded Women’s Legends event, including former Australian Open champs Amelie Mauresmo and Lindsay Davenport, along with Martina Hingis and Martina Navratilova
►A special Legends Lunch on the final Saturday to honor six-time Australian Open winner Roy Emerson
►New multi-year deals with Rolex, ANZ, Maxxis, Powerade and Mount Franklin
►Australian legend Judy Dalton to be inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame.