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Australian Open to Pay Champions Record $2.5 Million in 2013

The Australian Open tennis tournament will pay its 2013 men’s and women’s singles champions a record A$2.43 million ($2.5 million) each, organizers said.

The season-opening Grand Slam event in Melbourne next month will also pay more prize money per round than any other tournament, Tennis Australia said in an e-mailed statement.

The biggest increases are in the first three rounds, which all had at least a 30 percent rise from the 2012 edition, the governing body said. Prize money for reaching the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals has gone up almost 15 percent.

“Our motivation is to make a major contribution toward helping ensure professional tennis players can make a decent living,” Tournament Director Craig Tiley said in the statement. “It is a real issue and needs to be urgently addressed throughout the sport.”

The tournament starts Jan. 14 at Melbourne Park.

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