Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has revealed there will be an increase in prizemoney for the 2024 Australian Open, insisting tennis players will be “compensated appropriately”. The first Grand Slam of the year will see players compete for a record $ 86.5 million prize pool at next month’s event in Melbourne.

The record-breaking figure is a 13 percent increase on the 2023 pool, with significant rises for players who are eliminated in the early rounds. Players competing in the Melbourne Park qualifiers will also see an increase in pay to ease their pain as just making the first round of qualifying will net a player $31,250 – up from $26,000.

Yet it is those in the main draw who will be reaping the most rewards with a minimum $120,000 payday for anyone who qualifies and is knocked out in the first round. The top end of the scale has also seen a rise, with semi-finalists set to collect a mammoth $990,000, the runners-up will pocket $1.725m and the winners will receive $3.15million, some $175,000 more than what Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka brought home when they took out the Australian Open this year.

“We’ve upped prizemoney for every round at the Australian Open, with the major increases in qualifying and the early rounds of singles and doubles,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.

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“It is critical to the continued success of the Australian Open that we ensure that the best players in the world are compensated appropriately, as we know this allows players to invest in their own careers and in many cases helps set them up for success throughout the year.

“We want to ensure Australia remains the launch pad for the global tennis season and the players and their teams have everything they need to help them perform at their best and continue to enjoy the Happy Slam,” he added.

Rafa Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya last month voiced his deep fears over how the former World No.1’s body will hold up against the rigours of grand slam tennis. Nadal confirmed that he will make his long-awaited return to the court at the Brisbane International in January, in preparation for the Australian Open.

The 22-time grand slam champion has not played a match since hobbling out of the Melbourne Park grand slam in January after a shock second-round defeat to American Mackenzie McDonald. He has been struggling with a hip flexor problem and was only initially expected to be out of tennis for eight weeks with the injury. However, the 37-year-old ended up undergoing surgery on his hip in June after multiple setbacks, ruling him out for the remainder of the 2023 season.