Skip to main content

Tennis chiefs rule out Australian Open boycott

updated 2:00 PM EDT, Mon August 27, 2012
Serbia's Novak Djokovic won the 2012 Australian Open, beating Spain's Rafael Nadal in the final.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic won the 2012 Australian Open, beating Spain's Rafael Nadal in the final.
  • ATP rule out backing a tennis players boycott of the 2013 Australian Open
  • Players angered by disparity in prize money between top stars and first round losers
  • The Australian Open has the highest prize fund of any of the four grand slams
  • A player who loses in the first round of the tournament receives $21,600

(CNN) -- Tennis bosses have told the sport's stars that a boycott of the 2013 Australian Open over prize money would not be backed.

Players have voiced concerns over the disparity between the money earned by stars who reach the latter stages of grand slams and those who exit in the early rounds.

British newspaper the Sunday Times reported that they were planning to start a rebel event, possibly in Dubai, if pay is not increased for the Melbourne tournament in January.

But the ATP, which represents the interests of male players, has denied it would help players in organize any such action.

"The ATP has been clear and repetitive in telling players that it will not organize a boycott," it said in a statement.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Novak Djokovic of Serbia will be hoping to defend their Wimbledon titles in July -- earning a 4.5% increase in prize money if they do. Singles champions will now receive £1.15 millon ($1.85 million). <br/><br/> Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Novak Djokovic of Serbia will be hoping to defend their Wimbledon titles in July -- earning a 4.5% increase in prize money if they do. Singles champions will now receive £1.15 millon ($1.85 million).

Wimbledon champions - £1.15 million
Wimbledon stars\' pay increase Wimbledon stars' pay increase
Petra Kvitova looking to win 2nd major
Jim Courier's U.S. Open tips

"Instead, ATP Management and players have taken a diplomatic approach this year with the grand slams to address player compensation issues.

"The grand slams are important events that generate significant revenues, and the players who perform there should share in an acceptable percentage of those revenues like they do on the ATP World Tour."

How 'Big Four' earned a pay rise for tennis colleagues

The Australian Open, held in Melbourne every January, is one of four grand slams in tennis -- along with the French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon.

In 2012, first-round losers at the year's first major tournament were given $21,600, compared to $22,500 in France and $23,000 in the U.S. and Britain -- the latter three having increased by 20%.

The biggest disparity is in Australia, which has the highest prize purse and biggest winner's check of almost $2.4 million.

"We are pleased that the discussions initiated by the ATP with each of the grand slams this year have resulted in certain prize money increases for players in 2012," the men's ruling body said.

"We remain focused on our active dialogue with these events about player compensation for 2013 and beyond. The players remain unified and passionate about this issue."

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley, in New York for the U.S. Open which began on Monday, attempted to quell boycott fears.

"We are the first to say that for tennis to be a viable career, the top 250 players need to make a good living," he told Australian news agency AAP.

"The top 250 players in tennis make about a quarter of the amount of money in tennis as they do in golf. So that could be a good benchmark for us. And the PGA Tour's prize money has increased more than the ATP Tour's has, so we have to address that too.

"Our relationship with the playing group is very, very strong. It's in everyone's interests (not to strike). We're very confident that whatever needs to be resolved will be."

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.