America’s Grand Slam has reached a five-year agreement with ATP and WTA to raise prize money and return the tournament to a Sunday finale in 2015.
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By E.J. Crawford, USOpen.org
The US Open has long supported the growth of tennis throughout the United States, sustaining numerous grass-roots and after-school programs, youth initiatives, adult and senior leagues and tournaments, court renovations and so much more.
Behind a new agreement with the ATP and WTA, the US Open has ensured that it will continue to grow and develop the game in the years to come – all while maintaining America’s Grand Slam as one of the world’s greatest sport and entertainment spectaculars.
"The [USTA] approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership, and as president of the ATP Player Council I am personally grateful for their support," said five-time US Open champion Roger Federer. "The US Open is very special, and we all look forward to great competition at Flushing Meadows later this year, and in the years yet to come."
The five-year agreement with the ATP and WTA calls for the US Open to increase prize money to $50 million by 2017 and returns the event to a Sunday conclusion beginning in 2015. As part of the increase, the US Open will offer an additional $4.1 million in prize money to the already announced purse for this year’s US Open, bringing the total base prize money for 2013 to $33.6 million, which is a record $8.1 million increase from the 2012 US Open.
The champions of the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series will also have the opportunity to add $2.6 million in bonus prize money, potentially bringing the total 2013 US Open purse to more than $36 million.
"We applaud the USTA’s long-term commitment to increased and fair compensation for our athletes," said Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman and CEO. "For 40 years the USTA has been a leader for equality and for women’s tennis, and today’s announcement is a testament to their continued bold vision for the sport."
Also, beginning in 2015 the US Open will conclude on the second Sunday of the two-week event with the men’s singles championship. To allow for a day of rest for the finalists, the men’s singles semifinals will be played on Friday. With this schedule, the women’s singles championship will be played on Saturday.
For 2013 and 2014, the women’s singles final is being played on Sunday and the men’s singles final on Monday, extending Finals Weekend to four days.
"We welcome the commitment the USTA has made concerning player prize money at the US Open through 2017," said Brad Drewett, ATP executive chairman and president. "These increases are the largest in the history of the sport, representing a significant step forward in truly recognizing the input the players have in the success of the US Open. We also welcome the decision from the USTA to adopt a schedule with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday, from 2015 onwards."
The increase in prize money and revised tournament schedule are part of a long-term strategy for the US Open and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The plan includes renovations to the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to make it more accessible and fan-friendly, including the construction of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand, a new viewing area for fans to watch the practice and outside courts, and other improvements to improve the flow of pedestrian traffic around the grounds.
"The USTA has a long-term vision in place to ensure that tennis continues to thrive in the United States," said David Haggerty, USTA Chairman, CEO and President. "This vision encompasses every level of the sport, from energizing existing fans, to attracting new players, to ensuring the US Open remains one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.
"With this unprecedented commitment to long-term prize money and recognition of the value that players bring to the sport, we will gain stability for the sport so that we can focus our energy on growing the game and ensuring tennis’ vitality in the U.S. for years to come."
The 2013 US Open begins Aug. 26 and runs through Sept. 9. The 2013 US Open Qualifying Tournament begins Aug. 20.