This month’s US Open is to offer a 37-per-cent prize money increase which will almost bring it level with the record Wimbledon payout of a month ago.
The New York event will hand out $34.3 million, some spare change short of the $37.2 million which was on offer at the All England Club. The men’s and women’s singles winners will each receive $2.6 million.
First-round losers will walk with 32,000 dollars — nearly 40 per cent more than a year ago — and the eight quarter-finalists will each bag in excess of 500,000 dollars. Doubles gets a rise of 12.7 per cent at the last major of the season, starting on August 26.
The four slams have quickly lifted their prize money in 2013 after serious threats from players in 2012 to possibly walk out of the Australian Open over money.
The US tournament, still trying to find the budget for a covered stadium in redevelopment plans, has promised to lift its prize package to around 50 million dollars by 2017 and also end an unpopular experiment with a Monday night final — which was brought on to suit the needs of local television.
But the unpopular delayed final will still play out this year and next before a return to a Sunday final from 2015.
US television paymasters have for three decades insisted on two men’s semi-finals and a women’s final all on the last “super” Saturday, which was followed 24 hours later by the men’s final.
The men’s final was moved to Monday to give the two players a day’s rest. But from 2015 onwards, the women’s semis will be played on Thursday, men’s semi-finals on Friday, women’s final on Saturday and men’s final on Sunday.