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Australian Open increases prize money for finalists

Australian OpenWe’re in the middle of the global financial crisis and the Australian Open is increasing prize money. Apparently, the crisis won’t hit everyone the same.

The singles finalists of the 2009 Australian Open will receive more money than ever before. The total prize money for the Grand Slam will be A$23.4 million (US$15.7 million), an increase of 12.3 per cent on last year, with the bulk going to the champions and the runner-ups. Both singles champions will receive a record A$2 million while the runners-up will each earn A$1 million.

"We believe that A$2 million is an appropriate reward for winning the biggest sporting event in the world in January," Tennis Australia Chief Executive Steve Wood said.

Organizers had already announced in October they were lifting the first prize amounts, but decided to raise it again to counter the drop in exchange rates.

The Australian Open starts on January 19th in Melbourne. (source: Reuters)

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