Tuesday, March 26, 2013

US Open up the Stakes


US Open up the Stakes

The US Open have gone one better than their Australian counterparts after revealing a staggering increase in prize money for the 2013 Grand Slam.

Fresh off the back of Melbourne’s announcement last autumn to push up their pot to $31m, organisers in New York say the total fund by 2017 will be $50m – roughly double what it was last year.

The deal also includes raising this year’s tournament pot by a combined $8.1m, meaning that the total payout in 2013 will be $33.6m compared to $25.5m last year.

The news, of course, was relayed to Novak Djokovic who had this to say to reporters: “It’s a very positive step for players. You know, it proves that players, I think, are more united than ever,” said the Serb.

“We just feel like we deserve it. There is a lot of players – not just the top players, but a lot of players who are in top 100, top 200 – who deserve to have a better living from this sport.”

Despite indigestible figures, the news has sparked great acceptance from Betfair Wimbledon pundits, many of whom want to see the players get more rewards for the entertainment they put on show.

Djokovic is one of the best in the business and he has earned millions through winning Grand Slams and securing sponsorship deals. However, there are hundreds of players down the ATP ranks who struggle to make a living and although a $50m prize fund may seem extreme the majority goes to those who need it most.

Djokovic himself is likely to contest for the top prize at Flushing Meadows this year but has a lot to play for before jetting into New York.

He is one of the favourites in the betting world to win the French Open while a second Wimbledon title is on his radar, meaning that while the mega bucks lie Stateside, the world number one must keep his focus on other tennis events this summer.