Australian Open prize money up 10 per cent
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
Australian Open organisers have increased the prize money by 10 per cent in local currency for the first tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year to offset a drop in the Australian dollar.
Tournament director Craig Tiley says the total prize money for the January 14-27 tournament next year will be 60.5 million Australian dollars (US$43 million). The total was A$55 million for the 2018 event, although the Australian dollar has dropped from 81 to 71 cents in exchange rates against the US dollar in the meantime.
The allocation of the increased prize money has yet to be decided but will be distributed evenly between the men's and women's draws.
Matches on all courts at the Australian Open will have electronic line-judging for the first time and a 25 second "serve clock" to avoid time wasting.
Li Na tops fan vote
NEWPORT, Rhode Island (AP) :
Li Na has received the most support in the first fan vote for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, followed by Goran Ivanisevic and Mary Pierce.
Results of the six-week online balloting for fans were announced Tuesday. The Hall did not say how many people participated.
Li will get a three per cent boost to her total for the overall vote by the main selection panel, which includes members of the Hall, journalists and tennis historians. Ivanisevic gets two per cent, and Pierce one per cent.
Li, a two-time major champion from China, could become the first player from Asia elected to the Hall.
The Class of 2019 will be announced in January. There are five other candidates: Jonas Bjorkman, Sergi Bruguera, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Conchita Martinez and Thomas Muster.
Suns seeking new GM
PHOENIX, Arizona (AP):
The Phoenix Suns fired general manager Ryan McDonough on Monday, nine days before their season begins.
James Jones and Trevor Bukstein will share the GM duties on an interim basis for the Suns. Jones is the team's vice-president of basketball operations and Bukstein was assistant GM under McDonough, who had been in Phoenix since 2013 and was under contract through 2020.
Suns owner Robert Sarver said in a statement announcing the firing that he made the decision "after much thought and a long evaluation of our basketball operations."
The Suns hired McDonough after three seasons as assistant general manager of the Boston Celtics. He is the son of the late Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough.