It’s the first Slam of 2017, and the Australian Open announced at the end of last year that the prize money has increased to start the 2017 season, with a bumper 14% hike on last year’s pot by 14%. Last year, Johanna Kontaexceeded expectations by making the Australian Open semi-finals – so what could be in-store for the British No. 1 at this year’s Australian Open.
When the prize purse was announced for the Australian Open 2017, its Tournament Director CEO Craig Tiley said in a statement: “We are committed to further improving the pay and conditions on the international tennis tour to ensure every professional tennis player is properly compensated.
“It was especially important for us to increase the compensation for players in the early rounds and qualifying, and this year we have made some real gains. We are constantly reviewing ways to improve the life of every player on tour, not just the top 100. This includes increasing prize money as well as removing as many costs as possible associated with playing our events.
“Our aim is to shift the break-even point for professional players, to ensure that tennis is a viable career option for the best male and female athletes in the world. We are also committed to equal prize money, equal exposure and equal opportunity for men and women.”
Although there were no British men in the Qualifying rounds this year, we carried hopes with Laura Robson and Tara Moore, although both would exit in the first round – but even so, they earned a little under £4k for their efforts.
How the Australian Open Prize Money translates to GBP
Percentage increase from 2016
AU$3,7m – £2.27m
AU$1.85m – £1.14m
AU$820k – £503k
AU$410k – £252k
AU$220k – £135k
AU$130k – £79.7k
AU$80k – £49k
AU$50k – £30.6k
Qualifying Third Round
AU$25k – £15.3k
Qualifying Second Round
AU$12.5k – £7.7k
Qualifying First Round
AU$6,250 – £3.8k
Last year, Konta will have pocketed a cool £462k as a losing semi-finalist and if she can at least defend her points from last year, she would see that upped to almost £505k.
Her capital is high – she brushed aside Australian Open third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the Sydney final, and while she has a tough draw ahead of her to even emulate her run of last year – she is more than capable of hanging toe-to-toe with the best in the world.
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