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Australian Open reveals record prize fund – with 1st-round losers netting $60k while men’s and women’s champs bag $2.85mn each

Australian Open reveals record prize fund – with 1st-round losers netting $60k while men’s and women’s champs bag $2.85mn each
Australian Open organizers have announced a near 14 percent jump in prize money for the 2020 edition of the tournament, with a total $49 million (AUS$71 million) on offer for tennis stars.

Even players exiting in the first round of singles qualifying will take home almost $14,000, while those bowing out at the first round proper will pocket a whopping $62,000.

The winners of the men’s and women’s singles – which last year were Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka – will bag $2.85 million each for their efforts.

Overall, the prize fund for competitors is up 13.6 percent on the 2019 edition of the tournament, while the amount has increased over 60 percent in the past five years alone.

"We have long been committed to improving the pay and conditions for a deeper pool of international tennis players,” said tournament director Craig Tiley.  

“This year, as we do every year, we worked with the tours to establish the weighting for prize money increases round-by-round, and we pushed to reward players competing early in the tournament in both singles and doubles. 

“We strongly believe in growing prize money at all levels of the game and we will continue to work with the playing group to create viable career paths in the sport and enable more players to make more money.”

The winners of the men’s and women’s doubles will net $525,000 per team, while the mixed doubles champs will pocket around $130,000 to share between them.

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The action in Melbourne gets underway on January 20 and runs until February 2. 

In the men’s competition, Serbian star Djokovic will be aiming to defend the title he has won six times in the past nine years.

Last year’s women’s winner, Japanese ace Osaka, will face tough competition from the likes of Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty while Serena Williams will again be out to finally claim the title she needs to equal the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

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Of the four Grand Slams, the US Open remains the biggest prize fund, last season paying a total $57 million in prize money – including $3.85 million to the men’s and women’s winners.

At the end of last season, Aussie women’s ace Barty picked up a record-breaking $4.42 million when she won the WTA Finals in China – the biggest ever amount in men's or women's tennis.

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