Bengaluru: The Australian Open has increased its total prize purse by 14% to a record A$50 million ($36.19 million), with A$3.7 million up for grabs for the winners of the singles tournaments, organisers said on Wednesday.

The prize money for the season’s opening grand slam has more than tripled since 2001, and risen A$10 million since 2014.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement that organisers were focused on increasing compensation for players in the early rounds and qualifying, with first round losers set for an A$50,000 windfall, up 30% from last year.

Similarly, second round prize money has risen 29% to A$80,000, with third and fourth round losers to earn A$130,000 and $220,000 respectively. Total prize money for the quarter-finals, semi-finals, runners up and winner is up 9%.

The Australian Open starts on 16 January in Melbourne. Reuters