Angelique Kerber (right) of Germany enjoys a joke with Serena Williams of the United States after the women's singles final at the 2016 Australian Open.
Angelique Kerber (right) of Germany enjoys a joke with Serena Williams of the United States after the women's singles final at the 2016 Australian Open. Aaron Favila

Australian Open prizemoney could reach $50m

TENNIS: The Australian Open could offer a phenomenal $50 million in prizemoney next month, continuing the tournament's stunning growth.

Tennis Australia officials are working through the specifics of player compensation for the January 16-29 grand slam.

An announcement is imminent, possibly as early as today.

Tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed TA was determined to change "the break-even point” for lower-ranked players by boosting prizemoney in qualifying and for early round losers.

"We believe the players - all 550 of them - should be paid well,” Tiley said.

"We have led the way in offering more prizemoney and, while we still have to work through the specifics, we expect there will be a substantial increase for 2017.”

The 2016 open offered a total of $44 million, with first-round losers receiving $38,500, while singles champions Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber walked away with $3.4 million each.

In 2012, first-round losers in the main draw received $20,000, and the singles champion $2.3 million.

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