With the Australian Open’s roughly 15 percent increase in prize money, said to be largest increase in the history of the sport, the ATP Players Council has decided that the players will not boycott the 2013 Australian Open, TENNIS.com has learned.
“I was really impressed with what [Australian Open Tournament director] Craig Tiley and [Tennis Australia chief executive] Steve Woods were able to put together,” ATP Players Council vice president Eric Butorac told TENNIS.com. “I think I can speak for all the players when I say that we'll be in Melbourne in January with smiles on our faces.”
On Monday, the Australian Open announced that it will offer $31.1 million in prize money in 2013. Last month, the players had threatened a potential boycott of the tournament if its prize money was not significantly increased. Apparently the Australian Open met those demands.
Woods and Tiley will wait until next week, after they meet with ATP Players Council representatives at the Shanghai Masters, to decide how to divide up the total purse. Throughout this year, the players have asked for most of the prize increases from the other three Grand Slams to go toward the lower rounds, and their requests were met.
“[The rise] could be anywhere from 30-60 percent in some of the rounds,” Tiley told reporters. “We’d be looking at buoying up the first round, but particularly the second, third and fourth rounds. That’s been the players’ beef, and we'll address that. We'll just work on getting the balance right; we know what total we're dealing with now.''
TENNIS.com has also learned that WTA players will meet with Tiley during the WTA Championships to discuss how the prize money should be allocated.