USTA Increasing U.S. Open Prize Money; Men's Final Moving Back To Sunday In '15
The USTA today announced that U.S. Open prize money will increase to $50M by ’17, "roughly double what it was last year," according to Howard Fendrich of the AP. The USTA also will "permanently schedule the men's semifinals on Friday and men's final on Sunday" as of '15. As part of an “unprecedented” five-year agreement with the ATP and WTA, the USTA also is making an additional $4.1M increase to this year's prize pool, "on top of an already-record" $4M increase announced in December. That brings the total payout” for '13 to $33.6M. The USTA “does not plan to pay for the higher prize money with a similar leap in ticket prices.” USTA Exec Dir & COO Gordon Smith said, "Frankly, we'll take somewhat of a hit, but it's the right thing to do for the Open and for the players, so we're doing it." Fendrich notes the distribution of the new prize money “hasn't been decided.” An announcement is “expected closer to the start of the U.S. Open” in August. The USTA “did confirm its commitment to equal paychecks for men and women.” Aside from “wanting more money, some male players complained the U.S. Open had been the sport's only Grand Slam tournament with their semifinals and final on consecutive days.” The USTA in December announced that it would move the '13 women's singles final to Sunday and the men's final to Monday, "building in a day of rest ahead of each title match and moving from a 14-day tournament to 15 days.” Tournament Dir David Brewer said that the schedule “will remain in place” in ‘14, but the U.S. Open will “shift things in 2015: women's semifinals Thursday, men's semifinals Friday, women's final Saturday, men's final Sunday" (AP, 3/20).