Australian Open Tennis Boosts Prize Money by 10%, Unveils Roof

The Australian Open boosted prize money by 10 percent as the first tennis Grand Slam of the season unveiled a third stadium with a retractable roof.

The winners of the January event will receive A$3 million ($2.6 million), the Open said today in an e-mailed statement. The reconstructed Margaret Court Arena will seat 7,500, and host eight day and six night sessions, the tournament announcers said.

“We are determined to continually push ourselves to new heights in terms of facilities, service and the overall experience for players and fans,” Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer Craig Tiley said in the statement.

The three covered courts mean the tournament can continue in any weather conditions, organizers said. Wimbledon also has a retractable roof and is planning another, allowing play to continue during rainy periods. The French Open has proposed a roof over its main Court Philippe Chatrier to allow evening sessions, and the U.S. Open is planning to add roofs over some courts.

The Australian Open runs from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.

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