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The Australian Open, long considered the least...

The Australian Open, long considered the least prestigious of tennis’ four major titles, could lose its Grand Slam status unless prize money is sharply increased, the tournament’s general manager said.

Jim Reid said the tournament was having a hard time matching the purses offered by the three other Grand Slam events--Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open.

Last year, Wimbledon offered $5.2 million, followed by the U.S. Open with $5.1 million, the French Open with $4.5 million and the Australian Open with $3 million.

This year, Wimbledon is offering $6.4 million--more than double the Australian purse.

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