10/11/12 5:48 PM | Johan Lindahl
Roger Federer is taking a cautious wait-and-see attitude amid unofficial joy that any chance of an Australian Open player strike over a lack of prize money has all but been extinguished.
The Player Council president emerged after several days of meetings with various parts of officialdom, quietly optimistic that the danger of a strike has receded substantially - at least for now.
"Are we that extremely happy with the Australian Open? It was nice to see they have made a move," said the world No. 1. "Is it significant enough? I’m not sure. We'll see how things play out in the next nine months."
A lashing of cash announced last week which will push the prize pot to more than $30 million seems to have done the trick. Satisfaction emerged after meetings at the Shanghai Masters between administrators, Open officials who flew in from Melbourne and players including Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The threat of player action seems to be subsiding.
Murray said after the Melbourne event raised prize money a return to normalcy is assured. The plans puts an emphasis on more financial rewards for early-round losers. Women got a free ride in the increase due to equal prize money mandates.
"I never viewed striking at the Australian Open as a real option. From all the players I’ve spoken to so far, everyone’s been very happy with the increases in the prize money and their plan over the next few years, as well.
"Hopefully that's something we won’t need to worry about for a while."
ATP boss Brad Drewett also praised the initiative. "The ATP has had encouraging and positive discussions with Tennis Australia regarding the long term plans for player compensation at the Australian Open. Tennis Australia deserves credit for the way they have recognized the significant input the players have in the success of the tournament.
"I'm delighted the players have given their full support to the ATP leadership during this process with the Australian Open, as well as backing our decision to pursue this issue through constructive dialogue.
"I am confident that the ATP and our players will remain committed to the ongoing discussions with the other Grand Slam tournaments."
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