Tiley said players were pleasantly surprised by the increase."They were appreciative that the Australian Open has again stepped up, given them the number and gone significantly higher than probably they were expecting," he said.
Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood said the prize money boost would make the Australian Open in January the richest in tennis history.
tournaments, making it the richest in tennis history.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said the $4.15 million increase announced Tuesday was the largest from one year to the next for Primeknit Harden the tournament and should attract the strongest available players.
Tiley also said he'd been in contact with Rafael Nadal, who indicated he was still targeting the Australian Open for his return to Grand Slam tennis from a left knee injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon. Open 2012 champion Andy Murray ." Tiley said in a statement.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will play in the first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne next year, despite recent injuries.(Photo: Michel Euler, AP)
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Australian Open organizers have increased prize money to a record $31.1 million for 2013 in response to player concerns about compensation at Grand Slam Pharrell Williams Human Race Nmd Price
Australian Open offers record
ATP Players Council, involving leading players including Roger Federer, raised concerns about funding Adidas High Tops Champs
Story HighlightsAustralian Open organizers have increased prize money to a record $31.1 millionThe move followed reports that some players were considering bypassing the tournamentTournament director Craig Tiley said Rafael Nadal has confirmed to play at the tournament
The move to increase prize money for the first tennis major of the year followed reports that some players were considering bypassing the tournament if the purse was not increased, particularly for losers in the early rounds.
"We're proud of the fact we've gone to record prize money," Tiley said. "We are supporting the lower ranked players in their quest for compensation."
Before returning to competitive tennis in Australia, Nadal plans to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi in late December, according to a statement released by organizers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The tournament from Dec. 27 29 has a field that includes Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and David Ferrer.
The Players Council later played down a reported threat to boycott of the 2012 Australian Open. But the prize money announcement Tuesday was seen as pivotal in addressing player discontent.
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Nadal, an 11 time Grand Slam winner, partially tore the patella tendon in his left knee and hasn't played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June. Last week, Nadal said there was no timetable for his return, but that he was hopeful of playing in Australia.
prize money for these incredible athletes," Wood said, "and we want to ensure that the Australian Open continues to make a major contribution to the financial well being of professional tennis players."
levels and threatened action if those concerns weren't addressed.
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