Tennis: French Open purse jumps 18% to $36m

PARIS (AP, REUTERS) - Prize money at tennis' French Open will rise significantly for both singles champions and players who lose in some of the early rounds.

Roland Garros organisers said on Monday that the overall purse for the tournament will grow 17.6 per cent from ¤18.7 million last year to ¤22 million (S$35.7 million), with the men's and women's winners receiving ¤1.5 million compared to ¤1.25 million.

Players knocked out in the second, third and fourth rounds will receive 25 per cent more than they did last year. The tournament begins on May 26 and is scheduled to end on June 9.

French Tennis Federation director Gilbert Ysern says his organisation "wishes to maintain its effort with regards to players eliminated during the first week".

Further increases totalling another ¤10 million are expected by 2016.

In comparison, US Open prize money will reach US$33.6 million (S$41.6 million) this year and rise to US$50 million by 2017, while Wimbledon prize money was more than 16 million pounds (S$30.4 million) last year.

This year's Australian Open prize money was A$30 million (S$39 million).