Novak Djokovic yesterday welcomed news that Australian Open prize money would rise by Aus$4 million (US$4.1 million) but warned that players’ fight for a greater share of revenue was “not over yet”.
The World No 2 from Serbia described an announcement by the organisers of January’s Grand Slam that the purse would increase to a record Aus$30 mln as “positive”.
He urged the other three of tennis’ major titles to follow suit. “It’s a step forward, definitely,” the 25-year-old said following his win in the first round of the China Open in Beijing. Djoko progressed to the second round with a 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 victory over Michael Berrer of Germany.
Djokovic, a three-time winner of the Australian Open, said it was “great news for every player that plays this sport” but added: “It’s not over yet.
“Obviously there are other Grand Slams that need to react, and we are still in negotiations and we are still doing it behind closed doors.”
Meanwhile in Beijing, Britain’s Olympic champion Andy Murray defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 in a first round match. —