The 2012 Australian Tennis Open starts today and is set to offer the highest prize money in the history of Grand Slam tennis around the world. The total prize pool will be A$26 million, with the men’s and women’s champions taking home a record A$2.3 million (US$2.18 million) each. Does that sound excessive to you?
It may be because I am not a great tennis fan, but I cannot see why we need to give the players that much money. As it is a grand slam event, you don’t need to offer large amounts to entice players to come and play. The winner of any tennis grand slam event will probably boost their off-court earnings more than that anyway by being more marketable.
Some of you probably will not agree with my next comment (and that’s OK). Another thing that bugs me is that the event organizers have decided that both the men’s and women’s champions will earn the same amount (in 2007 Wimbledon decided to do the same), despite more interest in the men’s side of the tournament, with longer more entertaining games, and consequently better revenue-raising potential.
I’ll still be watching the men’s final, and afterwards, I hope they can give a little back of their millions to the grassroots of their sport.