Hot on the heels of Wimbledon’s 2013 prize money increase, the US Open have announced major prize money increases for this years singles tournament. Major increases come in each round, with those who lose in the second and third rounds seeing the biggest increase in percentage terms at 43% while the winner of each tournament will walk away with a $2.6m million cheque in addition to the US Open Trophy.
If Andy Murray can repeat his performance from last year, it would see him pick up the single biggest payday in tennis history to date. Murray finally ended his slam hoodoo with a five set victory over Novak Djokovic after losing his first four finals. It was a welcome weight off the Brits back, who secured his second slam with a victory over the same opponent at Wimbledon last month.
As the US Open Series develops, we will get a greater idea of the form of the main contenders. However, it looks likely that the Djokovic-Murray rivalry will continue. Five time champion Roger Federer has struggled for much of the year and needs a big performance to ensure he isn’t cut adrift of the top four.
Meanwhile, Juan Martin Del Potro gave the biggest hint yet that he is ready to challenge once more with his outstanding semi final performance in the loss to Djokovic at Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal was shocked at Wimbledon but showed at Indian Wells, his only hard court tournament of the year, that he cannot be counted out. The Spaniard took the trophy after coming from a set down to defeat Del Potro in the final.
Serena Williams is the hot favourite in the women’s tournament. Serena has lost just 3 matches on the year although two of them were at slams – to Sabine Lisicki and Sloane Stephens. After winning the first 13 sets of the tournament last year, she found herself with a battle deep into the third with Victoria Azarenka, who would fail to serve out the match for her first US Open title. Azarenka has a 17-0 record on hard courts this year including her second consecutive Australian Open. While the head to head is firmly in Serena’s favour, the last few hard court meetings have shown that Azarenka is capable of hanging with her. She would get her first win over the World No.1 in 4 years on her way to taking the Doha title.
Prize Money Breakdown
Winner: $2.6 million (37% increase)
Runner-up: $1.3 million (37% increase)
Semifinalist: $650,000 ( 37% increase)
Quarterfinalist: $325,000 (37% increase)
Round of 16: $165,000 (38% increase)
Round of 32: $93,000 (43% increase)
Round of 64: $53,000 (43% increase)
Round of 128: $32,000 (39% increase)