Australian Open prize money 2017: How much can tennis stars win in Melbourne?

 
Joe Hall
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Australian Open trophy Novak Djokovic
All mine: Djokovic earned £2m for winning last year's Australian Open (Source: Getty)

Tennis stars will do battle for the second largest prize money reward in the sport's history when the Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne on Monday.

A men’s and women’s singles champion prize of AUS$3.7m (£2.2m) is the most generous ever offered at the tournament and second only to last year’s US Open in size.

This year's winners will receive AUS$300,000 more than Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber took home after triumphing 12 months ago.

The bumper prize comes after tournament organisers boosted their overall prize pot by 14 per cent to AUS$50m (£29.4m) in a bid to prevent match-fixing in the early rounds.

How the Australian Open compares to other grand slams

Only Stan Wawrinka and Kerber, who earned tennis' biggest ever prize of $3.5m (£2.9m) for winning last year's US Open, have ever received a larger paycheque than the eventual winner's in a fortnight's time will take home.

Wimbledon's 2016 prize of £2m was narrowly smaller while winning last year's French Open was worth €2m (£1.7m).

All three tournaments are likely to increase their remuneration offering to players this year.

Wimbledon's prize money offering, which has increased every year since the 1980s, has been roughly equivalent to the Australian Open's for the last two years while the French Open fund has been slightly smaller.

Murray money

The Australian Open title has so far eluded world No1 Andy Murray, who has settled for the runner-up prize five times in the last seven years.

Read more: Brit Jo Konta doubles her earnings at the Australian Open

Should the Scot suffer the same fate this year, he will still earn a healthy AUS$1.7m - nearly as much as Roger Federer earned for handing him his first Australian Open defeat in 2010.

Match-fixing matters

The biggest beneficiaries of this year's Australian Open prize money increase, however, will be those who exit in the early rounds.

As part of a bid to tackle match-fixing, the tournament has boosted the prize money paid to first-round losers by 39 per cent to AUS$50,000.

Players at the lower levels of professional tournaments, were prize money is significantly smaller than the earnings enjoyed by the top 50, are believed to be targets of match fixers.

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