AUSTRALIAN OPEN UNDERLINES ITS SUPPORT FOR DOUBLES
The Australian Open showed its support for the doubles game today with the announcement of initiatives to increase player participation, an increase in overall doubles prizemoney and the retention of the 64 player draw in doubles for the 2003 tournament.
In a first for a Grand Slam, players will be able to use their singles ranking for entry into the men’s doubles, with the signing-in deadline extended until near the end of the first round of singles to allow entries from top singles players who make an unexpected early exit. The numbers of players able to use their singles ranking for entry into the men’s doubles will be unrestricted.
The total prizepool for doubles at the forthcoming Australian Open will be AUS$3,654,456 (up three per cent) with $419,715 going to the winners of both the men’s and women’s doubles.
The winners of the men’s and women’s singles at the forthcoming Australian Open will see an increase from the one million dollar milestone reached last year to AUS$1,127,850, with $563,925 for each of the runners-up. The overall singles prizemoney is up 12.78 per cent on 2002 with the total prizepool also up over 10 per cent to an amazing AUS$18,180,000.
Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee, said, “Australia, with its rich doubles tradition, remains a strong supporter of the doubles format and we are committed to growing the doubles pool alongside increasing total prizemoney for the tournament.
“The changes in entry conditions which allow an unrestricted number of players to use their singles ranking to enter doubles, coupled with a later signing in time, opens up doubles to more players and can only be a bonus for the fans and players alike.
“We are also continuing our commitment to equal prizemoney for men and women, in both singles and doubles, which underlines the wider commitment in Tennis Australia to developing the sport for both sexes,” said McNamee.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2003 PRIZEMONEY BREAKDOWN (in AUS$)
Men’s & Women’s Singles 2002 2003
Winner 1,000,000 1,127,850
Runner-up 500,000 563,925
Semi-finalist 250,000 281,962
Quarter-finalist 125,000 140,981
Round of 16 losers 62,500 70,491
Round of 32 losers 38,400 43,309
Round of 64 losers 23,400 26,392
First round losers 14,980 16,897
TOTAL FOR EACH 5,322,029 6,002,450
COMBINED TOTAL FOR SINGLES 10,644,058 12,004,900
Men’s & Women’s Doubles 2002 2003
Winner 407,490 419,715
Runner-up 203,745 209,857
Semi-finalist 101,224 104,261
Quarter-finalist 50,612 52,130
Round of 16 losers 28,550 29,405
Round of 32 losers 15,573 16,040
First round losers 8,760 9,023
TOTAL FOR EACH 1,774,008 1,827,228
COMBINED TOTAL FOR DOUBLES 3,548,016 3,654,456
USEFUL BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Australian Open sponsored by KIA Motors in association with Heineken takes place at Melbourne Park from 13-26 January 2003.
More tournament information can be found on the Australian Open website at www.ausopen.org