Tennis: 'Boycott long way away'

Photo / Thinsktock
Photo / Thinsktock

An Australian Open boycott is still a long way away, according to Andy Murray.

The leading male players have long been unhappy with the percentage of revenue that is paid out in prize money at the Grand Slams and have increasingly begun to flex their collective muscle, with the prospect of a boycott emerging over the weekend.

Less than 20 per cent of the revenue from the sport's biggest tournaments goes to the players

The main issue is not the money paid out to those who reach the latter stages - the winner of the US Open will take home US$1.9 million ($2.3 million) - but the rewards for players who lose in the early rounds.

The French Open, Wimbledon and US Open all increased their prize money for first-round losers this year, with the Australian Open the lowest.

Asked how likely a boycott was, Murray said: "There's so many things that go into something like that, with lawyers, forming unions, all sorts of different scenarios that need to be thought through first.

"I think right now it's a long way away, but I don't know how serious everybody is about it. If in the next month or two months they get everything sorted and ready to go, then I'll have a better answer at that time."

The issue of a potential strike by players first surfaced after the US Open last year, where the leading men were unhappy not just with the prize money situation but also the packed yearly schedule, which has been shortened by two weeks this year. AAP

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