There will be an added incentive for players competing at the US Open later this year, as it has been announced that the prize money will be increased to record levels.
The winners of the men’s and women’s singles tournaments at Flushing Meadows will be paid $3million for their efforts, equating to over $400,000 per victory, and it amounts to the largest prize pool in the history of the tournament.
It is an 11.7% increase on the prize fund of 2013, which will now stand at $33.8m (£22.4m), and it has risen by $4m, with the prize money for the champions having doubled in the last six years.
Increase will continue
The increase of the prize money is not to end this year, as it is set to be as high as $50m by 2017, and there will also be at least a 10% increase in rewards for players who are knocked out in every round of the tournament.
USTA President and US Open chairman Dave Haggerty said: “Last year, to recognise the importance of the players and the key role they have in building our sport, the USTA shared our vision to reach $50million in prize money at the US Open by 2017.
“This year’s prize money increase continues the commitment to make the US Open one of the most lucrative purses in all of sports.”
The US Open is not the only Grand Slam to have increased its’ prize fund, as the All England Club announced earlier this year that the Wimbledon prize money was to be improved by 10.8%, and a 10% increase for the champions to £1.76m, which will duly be paid out to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Czech Petra Kvitova.
The tournament begins on Monday August 25th, and this year will also mark changes to the scheduling of matches.
The men’s final is now scheduled to take place on a third Monday, as the semi-finals will continue to be played on the second Saturday at the demands of American television broadcasters, and the players will now be allowed a day’s rest between the two matches.
However, a further change will commence in the 2015 tournament, as the men’s semi-finals will then be moved to the second Friday, with the final then being moved back to its traditional slot on the second Sunday, and that is how the schedule will be permanently fixed.
2013 US Open final
The change to the scheduling has come about to aid players with fatigue after winning their semi-final match, as the “Super Saturday”, as it is billed, has been the subject of much criticism in recent years, with the two men’s matches being followed by the women’s final in the evening session.
World number two Rafael Nadal will go into this year’s event as the defending champion, as he beat Djokovic in four sets in the 2013 final to win the title for the second time, the same player that he beat to win his first US Open title in the 2010 final.
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