12:00 AM, December 21, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 21, 2012

Pay rise at Aus Open

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Reuters, Melbourne

Australian Open organisers increased prize money for the early losers at the opening Grand Slam of the season to record levels on Thursday, a move which is likely to quell player unrest and end talk of a strike.
The Australian Open will now pay more prize money per round than any other tournament, with increases also coming in doubles and qualifying matches, but mixed doubles saw a money freeze.
The biggest increases were for first round losers in the men's and women's singles, who will now receive 27,600 Australian dollars, representing a 32.7 per cent boost from 2012, with those exiting in the second round taking home 45,500 Australian dollars, up 36.6 per cent.
The move is likely to appease the players council, led by 17-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who had been calling for more revenue from the four elite tournaments to be passed down to those hitting the shots.
"Our motivation is to make a major contribution toward helping ensure professional tennis players can make a decent living," Craig Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director, said in a statement.
"As we have said in the past, it is a real issue and needs to be urgently addressed throughout the sport."
In October, Tiley's team announced that the players would be vying for a share of a record 30 million Australian dollars for the January 14-27 event without giving the breakdown of how that money would be divided.

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