Oct 2 2012
Next year's Australian Open will offer record total prize money, tournament organisers have announced.
The total pot in Melbourne will be 30 million Australian dollars - £19.3million - which represents a rise of four million Australian dollars (£2.6million) on the 2012 tournament. The increase means the first grand slam of 2013 will be the richest in tennis history.
Prize money for this year's Wimbledon amounted to £16.06million, while the US Open paid 24,054,000 US dollars (£14.9million).
Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood announced the increase at the official launch of the tournament, and he said: "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."
The ATP was pleased with the news, with the body's executive chairman and president Brad Drewett praising the increase. He said: "We welcome the increase in prize money for the 2013 Australian Open and acknowledge the ongoing efforts of Tennis Australia to recognise the role of the players in the success of the tournament.
"We also look forward with confidence to continuing these successful discussions with a view to a longer-term understanding."
Also announced on Tuesday was the introduction of the Hawk-Eye electronic line monitoring system for show courts two and three.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said he was confident Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal will have overcome a knee injury in time to play at the event. Nadal has been out of action since his shock loss to Czech Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon.
"Expect Rafa to be one of many great stories in January," Tiley said. "(We expect) a formidable title defence from our brilliant reigning men's champion, Novak Djokovic, and some major challenges from the great Roger Federer, US Open 2012 champion Andy Murray and any one of a group of (David) Ferrer, (Juan Martin) Del Potro, (Tomas) Berdych and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga."
As well as Djokovic in the men's event, Victoria Azarenka is due to return to defend her women's singles title, with the tournament due to run from January 14 to 27.