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Australian Open 2019 sets new prize money record as the tournament celebrates its 50th anniversary

Andrew Hendrie in News 11 Oct 2018
  • The 2019 Australian Open was officially launched at Melbourne Park this week
  • Tournament director Craig Tiley outlined numerous new on-court initiatives set to be in play for the 2019 tournament
  • A record overall prize money pool of over $60 million will also be spread among players
Australian Open Tournament Director and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and the Hon. Victorian Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events John Eren MP (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The Australian Open will establish another prize-money record and introduce multiple new initiatives as the first Grand Slam of the year celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Known as the ‘Happy Slam’, the 2019 Australian Open is set to be bigger and better than ever, with the tournament officially launching in Melbourne this week and announcing several key on-court initiatives, including an increase of overall prize money to AUD $60.5 million - an increase of $5.5 million from the 2018 edition.

A 25-second serve clock - first introduced in Grand Slam play at the U.S. Open last month - will be in action during all main draw matches, while hawk eye’s electronic review system will be available on all 16 match courts.



Changes have also been made to the heat rule after this year’s scorching temperatures, while 32 seeds will remain instead of reverting to 16 - a proposed change that was scrapped by the Grand Slam Board earlier this season.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on listening to the players, and this year we’ve taken our consultation to a whole new level,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
"Our team has spent a lot of time this year talking to players, coaches and their teams about what’s important to them, what they like and what changes they want to see.
“From these discussions, held at tournaments around the world, we’ve come up with some changes we know the players want, including the Serve Clock and Electronic Review on all match courts, making conditions more consistent across the precinct.”

On-court coaching has become a major talking point this year, with coaching allowed on the WTA Tour but not in Grand Slams, while no coaching is permitted on the ATP World Tour.

However, on-court coaching trials for both men and women will continue during the qualifying tournament, which will also begin a day earlier on Tuesday January 8 and feature 128 players in the women’s draw for the first time.

“Coaching is an issue we’ve all spoken a lot about over the past couple of months, which is good,” Tiley added. “As a sport, tennis needs to decide the best way forward. We’ll continue the coaching trial during qualifying – for both men and women – as we progress discussions with the many stakeholders involved. The sport needs to have a consistent approach to all issues around coaching.”

Australian Open 2019 is live between January 14-27 and will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary after the first edition of the tournament was staged on the grass courts of Milton, Brisbane in 1969.

Check out the full list of new on-court initiatives for the 2019 Australian Open below (taken from the official Australian Open website)

  • Prize money increased to AUD $60.5 million
  • 25 second Serve Clock for all main draw matches
  • Electronic Review System on all 16 match courts
  • Maintaining 32 seeds in the main draw and in qualifying for both men and women
  • Heat Stress Index to replace Extreme Heat Policy
  • Increased Australian Open qualifying draw for women, from 96 to 128 players
  • Qualifying tournament to start a day earlier, on Tuesday 8 January
  • Continued trial of coaching in qualifying and juniors
  • Tie Break Tens returns to MCA on Wednesday 9 January
  • High-profile practice matches to be held at MCA on each day of qualifying


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Australian Open 2019 sets new prize money record as the tournament celebrates its 50th anniversary

The Australian Open will establish another prize-money record and introduce multiple new initiatives as the first Grand Slam of the year celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.

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