It’s a busy tennis news morning for a second day in October. I’ll start with the announcement Down Under that the Australian Open will offer AUD $30 million in prize money, a record payout for any Grand Slam.
Recall the men began their affront on the Slams at the US Open last year, complaining that the Slams pocketed too much of the profit awarding less than 20% of the take to the player pool.
There was late, faint discussion of a player walkout at the 2012 Australian Open. The men then threatened to strike at the French Open.
The men continued their stand even as the Slams raised their purses, and recently their was a hint of a possible boycott of the Australian Open.
Now Melbourne has responded. The AUD $4 million dollar bump over last year should quiet any threat of a strike for now.
Tournament chief Steve Woods said the increase was the right move. “Indeed, our business will suffer from pain as we go to achieve this, but we are committed to making a contribution, a major contribution, to the compensation and the conditions of the players on tour – and I think $30 million is a major contribution.”
Added ATP CEO Brad Drewett, “We welcome the increase in prize money for the 2013 Australian Open and acknowledge the ongoing efforts of Tennis Australia to recognize the role of the players in the success of the tournament.”
Of course it’s only a matter of time before players feel they are underpaid again in a few years – who in pro sports or business doesn’t feel that way at some time – so we’ll see how long the good will lasts. And I support their unending plight. But what’s interesting is that while the men do all the legwork in this fight, the women get rewarded as well. Now what did the women do?
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