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Big boost in Australian Open prizemoney

Melbourne, Australia: Big pay rises are in store for players at January's Australian Open with organisers Tuesday announcing a 13.6 percent boost in the total purse to Aus$71 million (US$49.1 million).

The winners of the men's and women's titles at the first Grand Slam of the year will both take home Aus$4.12 million, only a small increase from a year ago.

But players beaten in earlier rounds do much better.

Anyone crashing out in round one will receive Aus$90,000, up 20 percent, while second round players get a 21.9 percent hike to Aus$128,000.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said every round would enjoy double digit percentage increases, bar the finalists.

"This year, as we do every year, we worked with the tours to establish the weighting for prizemoney increases round-by-round, and we pushed to reward players competing early in the tournament in both singles and doubles," he said.

"We strongly believe in growing prizemoney at all levels of the game and we will continue to work with the playing group to create viable career paths in the sport and enable more players to make more money."

Prizemoney has increased 61.4 percent over the last five years, broadly in line with other the Grand Slams.

The Australian Open gets underway at Melbourne Park on January 20.

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