Sports

Prize money for Australian Open rises 14 per cent

Next month's Australian Open will offer A$50 million (S$52.4m) in prize money, with the men's and women's singles champions both netting a cool A$3.7 million, organisers said yesterday.

The tournament-record purse, up 14 per cent on the 2016 edition, also offers players A$50,000 even if they lose in the first round.

The A$50,000 reward for reaching round one is a rise of 30 per cent.

"Our aim is to shift the break-even point for professional players, to ensure that tennis is a viable career option for the best male and female athletes in the world," said tournament director Craig Tiley.

By comparison, last year's US Open offered a total purse of US$46.3 million (S$67m), while players won £28.1m (S$50.3m) at Wimbledon and 32 million euros (S$48m) at the French Open. - AFP


Del Potro unlikely to be fit for opening Slam

Juan Martin del Potro is unlikely to be fit enough to play in next month's Australian Open, the Argentinian told a news conference yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The former US Open champion also cast doubt on whether he would play in the Davis Cup first-round tie at home to Italy in February when Argentina begin the defence of their title.

"What I need is to have someone get me physically fit enough to last the whole year," said the 28-year-old.

"There's a fortnight to the Australia Open and I'm unlikely to make that objective."

Del Potro, who won the men's singles silver medal at the Rio Olympics in August, is set to play two exhibition matches against Spaniard David Ferrer in Buenos Aires and at the seaside resort of Mar del Plata on Dec 27 and 28. - REUTERS