I'm sure ticket prices go up almost every year anyway.
The reason I'm fine with first round losers getting a decent amount prize money is it is a reward for the success that they've had throughout the year to get into the maindraw of the tournament. These people are flying to Melbourne, staying in hotels, paying trainers and coaches etc., so most of the first round losers end up making next to nothing. Tennis players below about number 50 are woefully underpaid compared to any other sport of comparable popularity.
Agree, some people assume that players are just pocketing 100% of the prize money and hitting the department stores to stock up on Prada, Gucci and Cartier afterwards.
The gap between the world no.1 and world no.100 is enormous.
Tounaments played - 18
Prize Money YTD - $6,068,920
Tournaments played - 16
Prize Money YTD - $142,890
That is an astronomical difference. Chan's money is only 2% of Azarenka's (talk about income inequality).
Azarenka's 4R run at RG earned her almost as much as Chan has all year.
Even World No.30 McHale has only won $439,543, Kirilenko who has had a good year at 15 has won $1,018,389.
So yes until you are I would say Top 30 plus you aren't exactly living the high life. Makiri earns double McHale but Azarenka earns 6 times as much as Makiri.