10/2/12 3:11 PM | Johan Lindahl
The Australian Open is working to head off any suggestion of a player boycott over prize money by announcing a payout hike of $4.1 million to bring the total payout for the January fortnight to $31.1 million.
Officials have been well aware of the issues for nearly a year, since boycott plans were first mooted at a player meeting in Melbourne last January. Since then, closed-door discussions between the parties have been taking place.
Open officials said at the US Open that they hoped to offer some kind of solution when they made Tuesday's tournament presentation.
Tennis Australia boss Steve Wood said the payment hike was the biggest one-off ever made in the sport. "We've led the world in prize money for these incredible athletes. We want to ensure that the Australian Open continues to make a major contribution to the financial well-being of professional tennis players."
At issue was the lower amount of money offered for early-round losers, with the tennis elite well able to take care of themselves through their massive winnings at the pointy end of the events.
Wimbledon, the French and US Opens raised early-round payments for 2012.
The Open will be the venue for the return to action of retired former champion Andre Agassi, who has been signed to compete in a special feature match in the Men's Legends event. Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling will be in use on an extra pair of minor show courts and autumn wildcard playoffs will be held for hopefuls in China.
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
Scan QR code to access Unibet mobile.
Bet on Sports wherever you are and whenever you like, with Unibet's quick and simple mobile client you can place bets, check results and see live odds.
For more info about QR codes & scanners click here.