2012 Australian Open to be richest Grand Slam

October 4th, 2011 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

M0elbourne, Oct 4 (IANS) The 2012 Australian Open will be the richest tournament in Grand Slam history with the men’s and women’s winners each claiming approximately $2.2 million.

The organisers Tuesday announced a total of $24.7 million for the tournament, which will be held Jan 16-29.

The prize money is more than six times Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s $366,366 annual salary. Tournament director Craig Tiley said players deserve the amount.

“We’re proud of the fact that our prize money, our $26 million prize money pool, is the biggest in the history of the sport,” Tiley said at Tuesday’s tournament launch in Melbourne.

“We’ve led the way the past four years, we like to do that and we know the players are appreciative of it.

“We believe and have consistently said that the players deserve it.”

There will also be a women’s legends event. The tournament will welcome three-time champion Martina Hingis of Switzerland back to Melbourne.

The tournament’s organisers also announced Hawk-Eye will be introduced on Margaret Court Arena, meaning the line-calling system will be on all three showcase courts. It’s already in use at Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena.

“Our mission is to continually improve the Australian Open experience for both the players and fans and the 2012 event is ready to deliver on every level,” Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said.

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