The World Tour Finals may have signalled the end of the 2012 tennis season, but as we all know, 2013 is just around the corner. The Australian Open has been doing some fantastic posts on what they've been up to in preparing for the first Slam of the year. Here's some highlights.
- Craig Tiley writes that deciding out how to distribute the $30 million (!) worth of prize money up for grabs at next year's Open is still a work in progress. There will be a focus on upping the amount that can be won in the earlier rounds, while the ratio between singles and doubles will be maintained. Women and men will still earn the same amount. Certain ATP players may roll their eyes at this, but we applaud them for promoting equality once again. Tilley sums it up with this line, "We will never be able to make all 500 players happy with the distribution, but I think at the end of the day we’ll have something that’s fair and equitable for all, and that for the most part they can all agree on."
- What to get those that have everything? The Australian Open has decided a leather-made overnight travel bag is the solution. This continues with their tradition of giving a variance on the leather-made bag every year. I can't imagine Roger Federer's closet is crying out for a new one...
- Fans have voted to decide who will grace the cover of the Australian Open program next year. Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka were already guaranteed a spot, but fans decided on two men and two women to join the World No. 1s. And there weren't any surprises. Roger Federer won the majority of the men's vote (2855) followed by Rafael Nadal (1372). They will pose alongside Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, who received 785 and 386 votes respectively. Perhaps the only slight upset was that Juan Martin del Potro scored more votes than Andy Murray, who languished in fifth place.
- The stress of being in charge of one of the Australian Open's warm-up tournaments must be extreme as each tournament fights for the same popular players. The Australian Open have made a list of who's committed to where. But of course, the Aussies conveniently forgot to mention New Zealand (it's an ongoing thing...) so here's some news on who's playing in Auckland's Heineken Open and ASB Classic. Personally, I think Brisbane International is pick of the bunch so far!
We'll have more updates closer to the time. Here's to counting down the days until the off-season is over!
Image credits: Getty Images