Australian Open prize money hits record high, but exchange rate and tax will hit players hard

Shahida Jacobs
Tennis prize money dollar notes

The total prize money for the 2023 Australian Open has gone up, as expected, but players won’t earn as much as the figures suggest.

Organisers of the season-opening Grand Slam announced in late December that a record A$76,500,000 prize pool will be on offer at Melbourne Park – a 3.5% increase from 2022 when the figure was A$74m.

“It is critical to the continued success of the Australian tennis summer that we provide strong and relevant playing opportunities and ensure that the best players in the world are compensated appropriately,” tournament director Craig Tiley said.

“We want to ensure Australia is the launchpad for the global season and that we see as much of them as possible. They inspire us all to engage in this great sport as well as inspiring future generations.”

The sport has certainly come a long way in the past decade as back in 2013 the prize pool was “only” A$30m and at the time it was the highest paying tennis tournament on the circuit.

But players will earn a lot less once the exchange rate and tax have been taken into consideration.

In terms of comparison to the other Grand Slams, that A$76.5m is worth US$52.6m and £43.5m (one A$1 equals US$0,69 and £0,57, respectively) while last year’s US Open prize pool was US$56m, Wimbledon was US$50m (£40.3m) and the French Open US$48m.

This year’s Australian Open men’s and women’s singles winners will walk away with cheques of A$2,975,000 (about US$2,06m and £1,7m) while the runners-up will receive A$1,625,000 (US$1,13m and £927,700).

Last year’s US Open winners were awarded $3m and the Wimbledon champions received $2.9m (£2m).

There is also the small matter of having to pay 45% tax on earnings above A$180,000 and suddenly the prize money is not as much as initially thought, especially when compared to some Masters tournaments.

The winner of last year’s Indian Wells Open and Miami Open received US$1,231,245 (before tax) while in Madrid they were awarded US$1,111,800.

Progress, though, is being made as those making early exits will receive more money.

“At the Australian Open we’ve upped prize money for every round from qualifying, through to the finals, with the major increases in the early rounds, where these substantial rewards help players invest in their own careers and in many cases, set themselves up for success throughout the year,” Tiley added.

2023 Australian Open prize money (increase from 2022)

First-round qualifiers – A$26,000 (up 2.97%)
Second-round qualifiers – A$36,575 (3.03%)
Third-round qualifiers – A$55,150 (3.08%)
First-round main draw – A$106,250 (3.16%)
Second-round main draw – A$158,850 (3.15%)
Third-round main draw – A$227,925 (3.13%)
Four-round main draw – A$338,250 (3.13%)
Quarter-final main draw – A$555,250 (3.11%)
Semi-final main draw – A$925,000 (3.35%)
Runner-up main draw – A$1,625,000 (3.17%)
Winner main draw – A$2,975,000 (3.48%)