21 Dec 2012

Players to get more money at Australian Open

11:50 am on 21 December 2012

Early-round losers at next month's Australian Open will receive a significant pay rise after officials released the breakdown of the biggest purse in tennis history.

Responding to player demands for a bigger slice of the pie, Tennis Australia has averted a boycott of the opening grand slam of the year with rich rewards for the sport's battlers.

While the 2013 singles champions at Melbourne Park will collect monster cheques for $3 million.

First-round losers will receive $35,000, up 33 percent; second-round casualties will pocket $57,000, up 37 percent and; third-round losers will pick up $90,000, a 30 percent increase from ths year.

With a record total purse of 38 million dollars on offer, prize money for the fourth round, quarter-finals and semis has gone up by an average of more than 14 percent.

Players' council representatives Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were central to the push for more money, arguing that the players were the entertainers and deserving of more.

The game's biggest names agreed it was vital for the lower-ranked players who help make up the 128-strong grand slam draws to receive extra prize money.