With a record $17m purse on offer for this year’s US Open, organizers will also cut the payout to the men’s title match while continuing to honour women’s champions.
The USTA announced its prize money plan for the first two weeks of the year’s final grand slam event on Tuesday. Last year’s winner, world number one Dustin Johnson, collected $1.56m for his efforts, while women’s champion Karolina Pliskova received $1.28m.
This year’s prize money for the men’s title match will fall to $1.25m, while the women’s will drop $125,000 to $1.17m.
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The USTA had not reduced prize money for the men’s final in 22 years despite the heavy discounts offered to the women’s version, which was then known as the women’s second week.
“With competition for the top prizemoney dollars in all of our major championships still intense, we felt it was appropriate to offer a decrease this year,” the USTA executive director, Katrina Adams, said in a statement.
“However, our goal is to ensure that we continue to provide the highest level of prize money, fan experience and tennis at our championship.”
The two biggest prizes for the women will be the $1.17m on offer for their championship match and $1.05m for the quarter-finals.
The Australian Open will not be altering its overall pool of prize money, with the total set to increase to almost $34m when the rankings reset in January.
Four-time winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia said last week that with two Grand Slam titles and being in top position, he would claim most of the US Open’s riches, regardless of the amount that was offered to men’s champions.