The Grand Slams are getting even grander.
The 2013 Australian Open saw more prize money and the tournament partially compensated players for their travel. This might not seem like a big deal to the multimillion dollar winners, but players without sponsorships often have a hard time coming up with the money to even get to the games.
Increasing the prize money in the early rounds should help the sport grow. Something the top men’s players believe in—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have all pushed for better compensation for the lower-ranked players.
Earlier this week the USTA announced that the U.S. Open prize money will increase 31.7% this year over last year -- to $33.6 million. By 2017, U.S. Open prize money will increase to $50 million, nearly double what it was in 2012. Plus, the USTA has confirmed that they are committed to giving equal pay to men and women.
Now the French Open has started making noise about stepping up their game. According the The New York Times, Gilbert Ysern, Roland Garros tournament director, says they will increase the prize money from 2013 to 2016 but won’t match the U.S. Open increase. It's a good step but Roland Garros has other issues besides prize money, mainly with their venue facilities. They are planning some expansions, including a roof over the center court and some new mini-stadiums; although, all expansion plans are on hold until they can satisfy environmental regulations.
Now, all eyes are on Wimbledon.
And, in case you were worried, the USTA isn't planning on bumping ticket prices.