Australian Open: How much prize money is on offer in 2020?

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

The world's best tennis players will compete for a record $71 million prize money at next month's Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

The men's and women's singles champions will pocket $4.1 million each after officials announced an increase of 13.6 per cent on last year’s purse.

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There will be double digit percentage increases across qualifying and every round of the main draw except the singles finals.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the increases were another important step in continuing to invest in the playing group.

"We have long been committed to improving the pay and conditions for a deeper pool of international tennis players," Tiley said.

2019 champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka. Image: Getty

"In fact, since AO 2007, prize money has more than tripled from $20 million to the $71 million for 2020 we are announcing today.

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

"We strongly believe in growing prize money 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."

Those who lose in the first round of qualifying will take home $20,000, up 33 per cent, while players losing in the first round of the main draw will earn $90,000 in prize money in 2020.

Craig Tiley speaks to the media ahead of the 2020 Australian Open. Image: Getty

Can Ash Barty cash in?

As if being Australia's first women's top seed at the Open in 43 years isn't enough pressure, Ash Barty will arrive in Melbourne bidding to become the first world No.1 to hoist the trophy since the great Serena Williams in 2015.

Such is the depth in women's tennis that Simona Halep at the 2018 French Open is the only other top seed apart from Williams in the past 20 grand slams to claim the title.

Not that Australia's casual sports fans will care too much as they yearn for the hugely popular Barty to end the 41-year Open title drought.

"There shouldn't be any assumptions," Barty said last week.

"There are no certainties in sport and I think that is the beauty of sport - anyone can be beaten on any given day and it is about preparing and doing the best you can do on that day.

"I can't wait to play in front of the Aussie crowd again and go out there and give it my all. Regardless of whether I win or I lose, I think the Aussie public love the fact when Aussie players come out and just give it a crack.

"That is what I can promise. I will go out there and give it my best and whatever happens, happens."

Ash Barty will be the favourite to win the women's crown. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic the red-hot men’s favourite

Novak Djokovic is hoping to keep his Next-Gen challengers at bay once more but is wary despite completing the "perfect" preparation for his latest Australian Open title defence.

Djokovic's ninth consecutive hardcourt win over world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the ATP Cup final underlined the Serb's hot favouritism to claim a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park.

He also downed 2019 US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, young guns Denis Shapovalov and Christian Garin and world No.10 Gael Monfils during the ATP Cup.

In addition he clinched the decisive doubles rubber with Victor Troicki en route to piloting Serbia to glory in the inaugural $22 million teams' event.

"It is the perfect preparation," Djokovic said.

"I didn't know what to expect from the event.

"Obviously I didn't know how deep we would go and I was hoping we would pass the group stages and see how it goes.

"But these kind of team competitions are really truly special and I'm personally over the cloud with my emotions, and hopefully I can take that positive energy and use it for Australian Open."

The clinical manner in which Djokovic dealt with Nadal in the grand old stagers' 55th career showdown marked the world No.2 as clearly the man to beat at the year's first grand slam.

with AAP