Australian Open raises prize money after big currency fall

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The Australian Open says it has increased prize money to a record high of 40 million Australian dollars (US$32.5 million) to take into account the fall of the Australian dollar in the past several months.

The tournament, which begins at Melbourne Park on Jan. 19, said Friday it will offer men's and women's singles winners each A$3.1 million, or $2.52 million.

That's an increase of A$100,000 from the $3 million to the singles winners it announced last October.

But taking into account the slide in the Australian dollar from near parity or above the U.S. dollar to its current 81 cents, it means the respective singles champions will still receive about US$10,000 less than the amount announced in October, based on exchange rates then.

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