Australian Open lifts prizemoney by 10%

The Australian Open will hike total prizemoney 10 percent in 2014 to A$36 million ($31.44 million), organisers said on Tuesday.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 07, 2014, 09:55 AM IST
Australian Open lifts prizemoney by 10%

Melbourne: The Australian Open will hike total prizemoney 10 percent in 2014 to A$36 million ($31.44 million), organisers said on Tuesday.

The Australian dollar has retreated by over six percent against the U.S dollar over the past month, but the 2015 prize pool is still competitive against last year`s A$33 million, which was worth about $29 million when Stan Wawrinka and Li Na clinched the men`s and women`s singles titles.

Organisers also launched the newly renovated Margaret Court Arena, which will provide a third covered show court after Rod Laver Arena`s centre court and the Hisense Arena.

Australian Court, who holds the women`s record of 24 grand slam singles titles, had a hit with local men`s talent Nick Kyrgios in the refurbished 7,500 seat stadium as part of the launch.

"I think it`s absolutely beautiful," the 72-year-old told reporters. "Wouldn`t have minded something to play on like this in my day."

Organisers have also snapped up former world number one and the 2009 champion Rafa Nadal as an ambassador.

The Spaniard will work with Tennis Australia to hold a charity event on Jan. 14 at Margaret Court Arena in the leadup to the tournament.

"I like to think I’ve always been friendly with the Australian Open, but I’m excited it is now official,” Nadal said in a Tennis Australia media release.